Preserved Pages: Book as Art in Persia and India, 1300–1800

Persian, An Irate Camel, (detail), 17th Century

Preserved Pages catalog cover The catalog for Preserved Pages is available now in the Museum Shop.
Price: $12.95.
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October 13, 2018 – January 6, 2019

This exhibition focuses on works on paper, separated from books (manuscripts) and albums, from the Worcester Art Museum's collection. Representing the two main contexts for the image in Iran and India from the Mongol invasions of the mid-1200s through the pre-modern period, Preserved Pages highlights several important artworks. These include landmark manuscripts, such as the 14th-century Great Mongol Shahnama (Book of Kings), and other rarely seen treasures of the Museum's Islamic art collection. Exhibition themes focus on the broad diversity of the arts of the book; the cultural and artistic value of art and literature; the variety of texts, genres, and modes of pictorial illustration and enhancement; and the subject matter and mediums developed by artists (painting, drawing, and illumination).

Preserved Pages: Book as Art in Persia and India, 1300–1800 has been made possible by a gift from Barry, Mitra, and Tav Morgan in honor of Mahroo Morgan.

Related Programs

Thursday, November 15, 6pm
Master Series Third Thursday: Illustrating Epic Poetry and History in Persian manuscripts from the Mongols to the Timurids
Speaker: David Roxburgh, Ph. D., the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Islamic Art History at Harvard University

Presented with support from the Bernard and Louise Palitz Fund and the Amelia and Robert H. Haley Memorial Lecture Fund.

Master Series is sponsored by:

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Media Partner: WGBH Forum Network

Curriculum Guides

Access Preserved Pages activities for students, which focus on 6th to 12th grade standards, on our Special Exhibition Curriculum Guides page.

These educational resources were developed for the Worcester Art Museum by Patrick D. Wilks, Lear Curatorial Intern, in partnership with local educators Batul Juma (volunteer through EnjoinGood) and Brian Leonard. Special thanks to Carina Ruiz-Esparza and Neal Bourbeau of the Worcester Art Museum Education Department.

Selected Images

Persian, Shiraz, The Ambassadors of the Egyptian Sultan al-Nasir Faraj ibn Barquq Present
their Gifts of Tribute, Including a Giraffe, to Timur (1370–1405), 1436 Persian, Bahram Gur Hunting Wild Ass, from the “Great Mongol Shahnama” of Firdausi (detail), about 1335 Indian, Mughal, A Ruler on Horseback Leading an Army Across a Battlefield from the
Tarikh-i Alfi (The History of One Thousand Years), about 1592–1594