Apologies in advance for some of the rushed photos - there were a LOT of people in the exhibition and I had to jostle for space with a mask on and 2 kids and still try to feel safe! Overall, I want to give a feel for the book arts section of this show and the feeling you get when encountering them. Impossible to get closer as they were all, of course, behind glass. I'd like to open with this lovely quotation:
This is, of course, the Shahnameh - king's book of kings and epic of Persia/Iran!
Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp I keep referring to: please note the crinkly paper! (not crinkly, but you know what I mean - it's not completely flat and has been touched by human hands!)
The effect of gold from an angle
And again, ever so slight shift
Look at this in context - look at the side of this book and binding! Quite thick
And another one, again not totally flat
And the edges of the paper aren't perfect. Nothing, in fact, is perfect!
Let this be an antidote to perfectionism
Effect of gold, which you can only see when it catches the light
Miraj golden cloud (Night Journey)
A larger (going to A3 size) miniature
Look at the water - done quickly-ish and with fun
Also fairly large
Zarafshan gold sprinkling and 2 facing portraits and figures
You may vaguely recognise some of these images from books you've seen
And this one
...anyone recognise this one?! Behzad construction workers and that surfer dude... and that unusual light blue sky
Geometry construction sheet
And the info that came with them - leather tools. My husband knows all about this and still trying to encourage him to teach, slowly slowly he's coming round to it!
And the info that came with them
The back of a book
And the front, the classic envelope fold - books were wrapped all around. They really were luxury precious objects!
Finally some samples for book covers.
Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour! The exhibition itself had a ton of other, non-book related stuff as it was about all the arts, crafts and history of Iran of which books are but a small part, so only stuck to the bookish things here!