News & events > Publication: "Islam at the Tropenmuseum", by Mirjam Shatanawi
01 Nov 2014

Publication: "Islam at the Tropenmuseum", by Mirjam Shatanawi

Islam at the Tropenmuseum - cover 2 Dutch publishing house LM Publishers has recently published Islam at the Tropenmuseuma book by Mirjam Shatanawi which presents for the first time the rich Islamic collections of the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, an ASEMUS member. Highlighting over a hundred artworks and everyday objects, this beautifully-illustrated book demonstrates how Muslims, from the beginning of Islam to the present day, have expressed their faith in art  and culture. A wide variety of artefacts from different regions of the world, from Southeast Asia to the Middle East, from West Africa to the Caribbean, are featured. Figurative paintings and prints, works of calligraphy and everyday objects embellished with religious motifs testify to the extraordinary richness and diversity of Islamic artistic expression. The Tropenmuseum Islamic collections are wide ranging including everyday household objects and popular art, colonial-period artefacts and contemporary art. Islam at the Tropenmuseum presents the multiple histories of how these objects were collected and displayed, beginning in the 19th century with the founding of the Colonial Museum in Haarlem. It explores the changing ways in which the idea of Islam, as a religion, and as a set of practices, has been understood throughout time and how these changing ideas influenced the museum’s collections. The author’s detailed research is packaged in an accessible language to illuminate the history of this fascinating collection, providing a new and innovative framework for understanding Islamic collections as a whole. The book will be highly appealing to both the interested general reader and the specialist. This is the fifth volume of a series of ten books that discuss the collections of the Tropenmuseum and the histories and stories that accompany them. Other titles published so far include The Netherlands East Indies at the Tropenmuseum and Photographs of the Netherlands East Indies. Forthcoming titles include Indonesian Textiles at the Tropenmuseum and Indonesia at the Tropenmuseum. Mirjam Shatanawi is an expert on Islamic cultural history. She is curator of the Middle Eastern and North African collections at the National Museum of World Cultures, the Netherlands, which comprises the Tropenmuseum. On the occasion of the book launch, a debate on Islam, Indonesia and collecting practices at the Tropenmuseum, entitled A History of Disregard, took place in early October 2014. Further information about the book: