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In MOA’s Drawers: Leaf from a Qur’an Manuscript

Designed to accommodate an impressive magnitude of objects, the drawers in MOA’s Multiversity Galleries are home to some of the smallest, earliest, and certainly most underrated, objects in the Museum’s collections. Housing more than 9,000 objects from around the world for public view, the Multiversity Galleries invite visitors to take a deep dive into collections that would typically be stored behind the scenes due to constraints on exhibition spaces.

Versatile in their ability to safely display a wide range of materials from across the globe, these state-of-the-art drawers are where curation and conservation come together. With a gentle tug on the long metal handles the drawers roll open, revealing cultural belongings from past and present to explore.

The Multiversity Galleries drawers make space for thousands of objects, so it can be easy to feel overwhelmed trying to see them all in one visit. If you’re not sure where to begin in exploring the myriad of works on display, seek out this elegant manuscript.

MOA Collection 2988/1. Photo by Kyla Bailey.

Leaf from a Qur’an Manuscript, maker unrecorded

Written in elegant Kufic script on vellum leaf, this manuscript is inscribed with verses from the Qur’an. In the early Islamic period, calligraphy was composed by geometrical principles. Notice how the scribe intervened on tradition by stretching the text horizontally. Red dots indicate vocalization, verses are marked by other shapes. With these beautiful enhancements, it’s clear this manuscript is meant to be appreciated as an aesthetic object as much as a document for recitation

Find me: Case 073