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Qalam: the Arts of Calligraphy

Mohatta Palace Museum1999-12

Mohatta Palace Museum

Mohatta Palace Museum

'Qalam' illustrated the decorated alphabet on a range of materials: stone, wooden architectural elements, metal ceramics, miniature painting, sculpture, textiles, and paper. Curated by Nasreen Askari and Hamid Akhund it honed in on historical Quranic manuscripts rendered in kufic, nashti, thuluth and nastaliq scripts that spanned ten centuries, most especially a corpus of work by Yaqut al Mustasim (d. 1928), court calligrapher to the last Abbasid Caliph, Mustasim Billah. Also on display were illuminated manuscripts and decorated albums from the compendia of Firdausi, Saadi and Jami, treaties on astrology, the natural sciences and medicine, leading up to contemporary renditions by Sadequain, Gulgee, Jamil Naqsh, Askari Mian Irani, Aftab Zafar, Chitra Pritam, Amin Gulgee and Uman Ghauri.

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