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Islamic Art in the Berlin collections
100 years of the Museum of the Islamic Art

19.10.2004 to 16.01.2005


At the opening of the 'Kaiser Friedrich Museum' in October 1904, Wilhelm von Bode surprised the audience in Berlin with an Islamic department. Two years later he founded the East Asiatic Collection, and the scope of the emerging Universal Museum became apparent.

In addition to the collections of the Prussian 'Kunstkammer' and the acquisitions of farsighted museum directors at Oriental Bazaars and European art-markets, private loans and famous items of luxury from the Islamic Orient contributed to the exhibition.

The newly-opened department made it clear that the arts of the Islamic Orient ought to be seen at on a level with the Antique and Western arts.

The Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum for Islamic Art) is particularly famous for its grand displays of architecture such as the facade of the desert-castle Mschatta. Together with its unique collection of carpets, a comprehensive collection of Moghul-miniatures and early works of all kinds of crafts, these magnificent displays of architecture are the museum's pride and joy.

Also participating in this exhibition with contributions of rare objects are the Museum of Applied Arts, the Ethnological Museum, the Egyptian Museum, the Museum of Indian Arts, the German Historical Museum, the Märkische Museum, the Coin-cabinet and the State Library.