Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great
San Francisco, CA 94102
An international loan exhibition of Islamic art organized in collaboration with the
Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the
Great Islamic Courts emphasizes the role of human relationships in inspiring and
sustaining artistic creativity at imperial courts. The exhibition spans a geographic range
from the Bay of Bengal to the Mediterranean Sea and dates from the 16th to the 18th
century — a period marked by the global movement of ideas and technologies and
increased interaction among various cultural and religious communities. Pearls on a
String is organized into three vignettes, each pivoting around a main protagonist in a
different century and empire of the Islamic world. Through 64 exquisite artworks,
Pearls on String tells the stories of a writer in 16th-century Mughal India, a painter in
17th-century Safavid Iran, and a patron in 18th-century Ottoman Turkey. Organized by
the Walters Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum. Accompanied by a catalogue.
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