FREER GALLERY OF ART AND ARTHUR M. SACKLER GALLERY
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, 2002
90 PAGES, 10 COLOR PLATES. SPIRAL-BOUND WITH INSERTS
PROJECT DIRECTOR: CARSON HERRINGTON
WRITERS: KRISTA A. FORSGREN, ELIZABETH BENSKIN
CURRICULUM CONSULTANT: SUSAN DOUGLASS
EDITOR: JENNIFER ALT
ART DIRECTOR: KATE LYDON
DESIGNER: RICHARD FRIEND
ILLUSTRATOR: ARASH NOROUZI
MAP: GENE THORPE
Reviewed by Ann W. Norton
This thoughtfully compiled teaching tool is essential for today’s educators. While it emphasizes the visual arts, it is a cultural study, and could be taught within the fields of Social Studies, History, or Religion.
The brief introduction makes clear that specific categories— Book, Mosque, and Portable Object—are highlighted. The fine color plates, found in a sleeve of the folder, are works from the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. On the back of each plate is a full identification and lengthy description setting each work within its cultural context. For instance, the description for a double-page from a Safavid Qur’an gives the history of how the sacred text was revealed, how it was compiled, and its main teachings. It then discusses the elegant naskh script and the type and origins of the repeated geometric design. The expert research, combined with carefully chosen advisors, brings a high level of scholarship to this guide. The input of a Teacher-Consultant Group helps make this work truly teacher-friendly.