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Shangri La deepens the understanding of Islamic art, culture and design by amplifying, highlighting and valuing diverse voices and global perspectives — both historic and contemporary.

“Islamic art” describes a vast corpus of creative production that crosses borders of time, geography, medium and religion. A unifying factor of Islamic art is that the art was produced by or for cultures in which the ruling government, or majority of the populace, was or is Muslim. However, the label “Islamic art” incorporates a wide variety of secular artworks, or those produced by or for people of differing faiths. Art which is tied directly to the religious practice of Islam is an important part of this field, but it is not restricted to it.

The richly heterogeneous “Islamic” world — composed of diverse languages, societies, cultures and religions — spans from the seventh century to the present, and has grown from its historic centers in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia to the entire globe, shaping creative and cultural conversations in new, imaginative and intersectional ways. The creative arts of twenty-first century Chicago, USA, is as much a part of the global world of Islamic art as is ninth century Cordoba, Spain, or seventeenth century Istanbul, Turkey.  

Shangri La deepens the understanding of Islamic art, culture and design by amplifying, highlighting and valuing diverse voices and global perspectives — both historic and contemporary.

Discover more art.

Explore Shangri La's collection of approximately 2,500 objects, including works of art from Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Central Asian, India and parts of Southeast asia.

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