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Islamic Calligraphy

Sheila S. Blair

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Joint Winner of the 2007 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize for Middle Eastern Studies

Winner of 2008 World Prize for Book of the Year by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance

Selected as a 2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

The extensive use of writing is a hallmark of Islamic civilization. Calligraphy became one of the main methods of artistic expression from the seventh century to the present in almost all regions from the far Maghrib to India and beyond. Arabic script was adopted for other languages from Persian and Turkish to Kanembu and Malay.

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List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: Arabic Script: Its Role and Principles
Chapter 2: Materials
Part II: The Development of Arabic Script in Early Islamic Times
Chapter 3: The Standardization of Arabic Script
Chapter 4: Early Manuscripts of the Koran
Part III: The Pre-Eminence of Round Scripts in the Early Middle Period
Chapter 5: The Adoption of Round Scripts
Chapter 6: The Proliferation of Round Scripts
Part IV: The Emergence of Regional Styles in the Later Middle Period
Chapter 7: Calligraphy in Iran and its Environs under the Mongols and Turkomans
Chapter 8: Rectilinear and Curvilinear Scripts in Egypt and Syria under the Mamluks
Chapter 9: Other Styles and Centers
Part V: Dynastic Styles in the Age of Empires
Chapter 10: The Safavids, the Qajars, and their Contemporaries in Iran and Central Asia
Chapter 11: The Ottomans in Anatolia, the Balkans, and the Eastern Mediterranean
Chapter 12: Other Styles and Centers
Part VI: The Many Faces of Islamic Calligraphy in Modern Times
Chapter 13: From Traditional Styles to Graphic Design and Calligraphic Art
Copyright Acknowledgements

About the Author

Sheila S. Blair is the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professor of Islamic and Asian Art and the Boston College and Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair of Islamic Art, Virginia Commonwealth University.