Publishing Organization

In recognition of one of the world’s extraordinary collections of Qur’ans, the Freer|Sackler hosted a landmark exhibition–the first of its kind in the United States–of fifty sumptuous manuscripts from Herat to Istanbul, in winter 2016-2017 Celebrated for their superb calligraphy and lavish illumination, these manuscripts—which range in date from the early eighth to the seventeenth century—are critical to the history of the arts of the book. They were once the prized possessions of Ottoman sultans and the ruling elite, who donated their Qur’ans to various institutions to express their personal piety and secure political power. Each manuscript tells a unique story, which will be explored in this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. SCROLL DOWN to the bottom of the web page to find art activities, information and interactive features created for the exhibition.

Type of Resource

Exhibition website, Lesson plans, Primary source document

Topic Category
  • World religions
  • Islam
  • Islam and Muslims
  • Islamic art
  • Islamic civilization
  • Islamic history and civlization
  • World history
  • Teaching about religions
Grade Level
  • Middle School
  • High School