The Keir Collection Gallery presents a selection of masterworks of Islamic art from the Keir Collection, now on long-term loan to the Dallas Museum of Art. Ranking among the finest private collections of Islamic art in the world, the collection is particularly strong in Islamic ceramics and includes fascinating examples of medieval Islamic metalwork. Perhaps the most emblematic object in the Keir Collection is a 10th-century rock crystal ewer (pitcher) made for a Fatimid caliph in Cairo from a single, massive quartz crystal.
Every four months, the presentation is refreshed with a new selection of rare manuscripts, book paintings, textiles, carpets, and other organic materials. From mid-February through June 2021, selections from the collection, particularly early Islamic talismanic drawings and Coptic textiles from Egypt, will be on display in dialogue with a recent work by the well-known Cairo-based contemporary artist Huda Lutfi on loan from a private collection. Responding to the unique challenges of our times, the work from 2019-20 entitled Healing Devices Helpful in Time of Constraints and Anxiety represents a series of 12 small collages inspired by the 100 designs for automata by the 12th-century Arab engineer, Isma‘il al-Jazari. One of al-Jazari’s designs in the Keir Collection is displayed.
The installation is presented by Kosmos Energy, which is the sponsor of the inaugural years of exhibitions and installations of the Keir Collection of Islamic Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Images: Mesopotamia, Iraq, Ewer, late 7th–early 8th century, brass; cast and engraved, The Keir Collection of Islamic Art, The Keir Collection of Islamic Art on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art, K.1.2014.59; Jean-Valentin Morel, Fatimid, Ewer, late 10th–early 11th century, rock crystal, enameled gold, The Keir Collection of Islamic Art on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art, K.1.2014.1.A-B; Iran, Plate, 12th century, fritware, painted in luster on an opaque white glaze, The Keir Collection of Islamic Art on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art, K.1.2014.321; Syria, The "Homberg Ewer,” 1242, brass, silver, The Keir Collection of Islamic Art on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art, K.1.2014.82; Isma‘il al-Jazari, Folio from a dispersed manuscript of a work on Automata by al-Jazari, 715 AH/1315 AD, ink and colors on paper, The Keir Collection of Islamic Art on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art, K.1.2014.4; Huda Lutfi, Device 1 from Healing Devices Helpful in Times of Constraints and Anxiety, 2019–20, painted, mixed media collage on paper, Collection of Marguerite Steed Hoffman, © Huda Lutfi