In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art

, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard Art Museums
White bowl with rings of orange and black text


Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard Art Museums

This special exhibition showcases some 150 works from the Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art. Largely unpublished and little known, the collection includes important objects from the Persian cultural sphere, such as luxury glazed ceramics of the early Islamic era, illustrated manuscripts of medieval epic poems, and lacquerware of the early modern era. Among the manuscripts are folios of the Shahnama, by Firdawsi, and the Khamsa, by Nizami.

The accompanying catalogue, published by the Harvard Art Museums and distributed by Yale University Press, offers illustrated entries and nine essays written by distinguished scholars and conservation scientists from a broad range of specialties.

Curated by Mary McWilliams, Norma Jean Calderwood Curator of Islamic and Later Indian Art, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Harvard Art Museums.

In Harmony marks the first time the museums are using an augmented reality app called Layar in the galleries. The free app, available for iPhone, iPad, or Android devices, gives visitors access to audio, video, and web links for several objects on display.

This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue have been made possible through the generous support of the late Stanford Calderwood.

Learn more about the exhibition in our series of videos, including a time-lapse recording of the installation of the galleries, as well as a recording of the opening night lecture with Oya Pancaroğlu (Boğaziçi University, Turkey), presenting the lecture “Tables and Other Social Settings in 9th–11th Century Eastern Iran.”