A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection

Glenn D. Lowry, Author, Susan Nemazee, Author, Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Author University of Washington Press $26.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-295-96677-9
This sumptuous volume, based on an exhibit at the Smithsonian's new Sackler Gallery, perceptively describes the Islamic art holdings of the late Parisian jeweler and pioneering collector of Asian art, Henri Vever. The legendary collection of Persian and Arabic miniatures was thought lost during the Nazi occupation of France. A series of serendipitous events, dramatically told here, led to its recent discovery in New York and its subsequent acquisition by the Smithsonian. The 77 paintings, all of which were originally illustrations for Islamic manuscripts, are reproduced in brilliant color. Despite their great devotion to Asian art, Vever and his fellow collectors, illiterate in Persian and Arabic, were unable to appreciate the cultural context from which this art emerged. The authors (Lowry is a curator at the Sackler Gallery and Nemazee is a curatorial assistant) have restored the texts to their illustrations, thus returning these small masterpieces to the context from which they were torn. For both the connoisseur and the newcomer, poems, stories and scriptural references will further enhance the enjoyment of the splendid book. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-295-96676-2
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