The MacMillan Center

The Arts of Islam

As part of a major renovation and expansion project which was completed in December 2012, the Yale University Art Gallery has created a new installation of the arts of Islam designed to complement the broad spectrum of Yale courses that examine aspects of Islamic art, culture, society, history, politics and religion.  The new Mimi Gates Study Gallery, located on the first floor of the Old Yale Art Gallery building, features highlights of the Gallery’s Islamic art collection in a display that will remain on view for several semesters.  It is named in honor of Mimi Gardiner Gates ’81 Ph.D., the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Gallery from 1987 to 1994 and currently a member of the Gallery’s Governing Board and the Yale Corporation. 
The objects in the new display were chosen in consultation with Kishwar Rizvi, associate professor of art history, to represent many of the broad themes and characteristic media and styles of Islamic art. The installation highlights the arts of the book, ceramics and decorative arts, textiles and the arts of the loom, and the arts of building.  With objects ranging in date from the eighth century to the twenty-first century and originating from the Middle East, South Asia, Iran, Africa, Indonesia, and Europe, the gallery underscores the vast chronological and geographical reach of Islamic art. Light-sensitive textiles, garments, manuscript pages, and miniature paintings will be rotated on a regular basis, allowing for a greater variety of works to be available.

As a Study Gallery, this new installation is specifically intended to engage faculty, teaching fellows, and students through course visits, assignments, and research projects.  To find out more about how you might take advantage of the Mimi Gates Study Gallery for your course, as well as other resources at the Yale University Art Gallery, please contact Kate Ezra, Nolen Curator of Education and Academic Affairs, at