Daily Life Ornamented: The Medieval Persian City of Rayy examines the distinctive artistic traditions of this great Islamic city, predecessor of modern Tehran. Rayy was a center of politics and sciences between the ninth and 13th centuries, renowned for its glazed ceramics and its prominent position on the Silk Roads. While documents reveal the personalities and events in the history of Rayy, patterns of its society and culture are brought to life through archeological materials.
The city’s unique ceramic heritage is revealed through excavations of the 1930’s. The exhibition approaches more than 50 objects from this collection as an archeologist would, investigating both ceramic innovations and traditions. The theme of ornamentation acts as a guide toward understanding the city of Rayy as both the source and consumer of beauty in everyday life—illuminating the lifestyles, resources and values of its people. Catalog.
Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago, May 15 through October 14