Passions: Islamic Art
Nasser David Khalili
In the last 30 years, Professor Khalili has assembled 20,000 objects documenting much of the artistic production of the Islamic lands over a period of some 1400 years. The collection was formed according to the criteria by which Muslims themselves judge their art and gives a central place to the art of calligraphy.
The Khalili Collection's holdings of manuscripts of the Holy Qur'an are the first to have been assembled systematically in order to illustrate the whole history of Qur'an production, both in terms of timespan and geographical range - from the 8th century AD to the 20th century, and from Morocco to China.
Professor Khalili is a scholar, collector and benefactor of international standing. He was born in Iran, studied in the USA and settled in the United Kingdom where he lectures on Islamic art and supports its study by his endowments to SOAS and Oxford University. Khalili is a co-founder and Chairman of the Maimonides Foundation, which promotes peace and understanding between Jews and Muslims. In addition to overseeing the publication of 27 volumes of scholarship in relation to his collection, Khalili’s most recent book is The Timeline History of Islamic Art and Architecture. He was made Knight of the Pontifical Order by Pope John Paul II.
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