Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World

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Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World
Directed byRobert H. Gardner[1]
Narrated bySusan Sarandon
Theme music composerCharles David Denler
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
EditorJeremie Morrison
Running time90 minutes
Production companyUnity Productions Foundation
Original networkPBS
Original releaseJuly 7, 2012 (2012-07-07)
External links

Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World is a PBS documentary film that showcases the variety and diversity of Islamic art.[2] It discusses Islamic culture and its role in the rise of world civilization over the centuries. It was produced in 2011 by Alex Kronemer and Michael Wolfe of Unity Productions Foundation.

The film had its world premiere at the Kennedy Center on December 1, 2011. It was originally broadcast nationwide on July 6, 2012 on PBS, as part of their Arts Summer Festival programming.[3]

The film was screened at the Minnesota Film Festival[which?] and at the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco.[4] It was given the Accolade Global Film Competition's Award of Excellence in 2013.[5] and was named Best Educational Film at the International Family Film Festival.[6]

The film has been produced in DVD format, and is in the collection of about 500 libraries around the world.[7]


Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World shows audiences nine countries (Egypt, Israel, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Iran, Spain,[8] Mali and India) and over 1,400 years of history. It presents the stories behind many well-known works of Islamic Art and Architecture.[9]

The film is narrated by Susan Sarandon,[10] informs its audience about Islamic art, from ornamented palaces and mosques to ceramics, carved boxes, paintings and metal work. It compares the artistic heritages of the West and East. The film also examines Islamic calligraphy and the use of water as an artform.[9]


Among the people in the film are:

  • Mohammad Al-Asad – Jordanian architect and architectural historian, and the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Built Environment in Amman
  • Sheila S. Blair – Norma Jean Calderwood Co-Chair Of Islamic and Asian Art, Boston College
  • Jonathan M. Bloom – Norma Jean Calderwood Co-Chair Of Islamic and Asian Art, Boston College
  • Afshan Bokhari – Assistant Professor of Art History, Suffolk University
  • Oleg Grabar (1929–2011) – Art historian and archeologist.
  • Ruba Kana'an – Specialist in Islamic art, the urban histories of pre-modern Muslim societies, and the interface between art and law in Muslim contexts
  • Amy Landau – Associate Curator of Islamic Art and Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum
  • Roderick J. McIntosh – Professor of Anthropology at Yale University
  • D. Fairchild Ruggles – Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and Co-Director of the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage and Museum Practices at Illinois.
  • Gary Vikan – Director of the Walters Art Museum
  • Kjeld Von Folsach – Director of the David Collection in Copenhagen
  • Mohammed Zakariya – Muslim convert and master Arabic calligrapher[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Movie Shows How Islamic Art Changed The World". MidEast Posts.
  2. ^ Yvonne Y. Haddad; Jane I. Smith (17 October 2014). The Oxford Handbook of American Islam. Oxford University Press. pp. 468–. ISBN 978-0-19-986264-1.
  3. ^ "Baltimore filmmaker shines light on Islamic art". Baltimore Sun, June 30, 2012 by Tim Smith
  4. ^ "Arab Cinema Engages Viewers With Films on Modern Dilemmas, Ongoing Struggles". Northern California Chronicle, By Elaine Pasquini
  5. ^ "Winners March 2013". Accolade Global Film Competition.
  6. ^ "2012 IFFF FILM, SCREENPLAY AND YOUTHFEST! WINNERS & FINALISTS" Archived 2015-09-07 at the Wayback Machine. International Family Film Festival.
  7. ^ "Islamic art : mirror of the invisible world" WorldCat.
  8. ^ Habeeba Husain. "REVIEW: Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World. Debuts July 6, 2012 on PBS". American Muslim Mom.
  9. ^ a b Emma Apple. "[Documentary] Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World". Muslimas' Oasis.
  10. ^ "New Film Explores Islamic Art’s Contribution to World Culture". Middle East Voices
  11. ^ "New Film Reveals Masterpieces of Islamic Art"[permanent dead link]. Indian Muslim Observer.

External links[edit]