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ART 154: Intro to Islamic Art  

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2013 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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Getting Started - Background Info on the Islamic World

  • Encyclopaedia of Islam
    Brill's Encyclopaedia of Islam sets out the present state of our knowledge of the Islamic World. It is the authoritative source on all aspects of Islamic history and culture.
  • Oxford Islamic Studies Online
    Includes a wide array of encyclopedia entries including over 400 related to architectural topics. Also includes bibliographies for further research, maps, images, and biographies.
  • Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages
    See entries on Islam and Islamic art (pp. 741-3.) Includes cross-references and bibliographies.
  • Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World
    This encyclopedia looks at Islam's role in the modern world, doing so in the context of the religion's history and development over the last 13 centuries. Contains thematic articles, biographies of key figures, definitions, illustrations, maps and more.

Find Background Info on Islamic Art & Architecture

The databases and books listed below contain valuable background and introductory information about the history of Islamic art and architecture.  These resources are oftentimes good places to start your research.

  • Archnet Digital Library
    The ArchNet Digital Library provides access to photographs, drawings, electronic publications and presentations, reference sources and links to related reference sources, focusing on historical and contemporary Islamic architecture.
  • Dictionary of Islamic Architecture
    Art Library Reference [NA380 .P43 1996 c. 2] Provides a range of artistic, technical, archaeological, cultural and biographical data for the entire geographical and chronological spread of Islamic architecture - from West Africa through the Middle East to Indonesia, and from the seventh to the eighteenth centuries of the Common Era. Over 100 relevant plans, sketch maps, photographs and other illustrations complement and illuminate the entries.
  • Oxford Art Online
    Includes the Grove Art Online, an encyclopedia of art, with general introductions to a variety of topics related to this course.
  • Islamic Art and Architecture 650-1250
    This book provides an overview of Islamic art and architecture from the seventh to the thirteenth centuries. Includes illustrations.
  • The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250-1800
    Includes coverage of Islamic art from 1250-1800, and provides information about the broader economic and social contexts of the period, dealing with topics like patronage, function, and meaning.
  • Islamic Architecture: Form, Function and Meaning
    Focuses on the relationship of architecture to society, and includes coverage of public architecture in the Middle East and North Africa from the medieval period to 1700. Includes extensive photographs and ground plans. Each building is discussed in terms of function, the links between particular forms and specific uses, the role of special types of buildings in the Islamic order, and the expressions of different sociocultural groups in architectural terms.
  • Encyclopaedia of Islam
    This online Encyclopedia covers Islamic religion, life, and culture. Coverage includes famous individuals, tribes and dynasties, the sciences and the arts, institutions and organizations, and the history and geography of Islamic countries. The geographical scope includes the early Islamic empire, the Ottoman Empire, Islamic areas such as Iran, Central, Asia, and Indonesia, and Islam in other countries.

Architectural Atlases

  • Encyclopedia of the Vernacular Architecture of the World
    Art Library Reference [NA208 .E53 1997] This encyclopedia explores the remarkable diversity of the buildings constructed and lived in by the people of over a thousand cultures. The first of the three volumes focuses on the theories, principles and philosophy that underpin traditional architecture. Volumes 2 and 3 consider these principles within specific cultural and societal contexts.
  • Atlas of the Vernacular Architecture of the World
    Art Library Reference [NA208 .V45 2007] This comprehensive work illustrates the variety and ingenuity of the world's vernacular building traditions from a multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural and comparative approach, using over sixty world and regional maps.
  • Die Kunst des Islam
    Art Library Reference [N6260 .S68] A scholarly work in German, useful for non-readers of German for its more than 400 plates (B&W and color) , plans and bibliographies.

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Subject Guide

For additional resources, see the subject guide for Islamic Art and Architecture


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