Art and the precariousness of the aesthetic: Images of the Prophet and narratives behind “beautiful objects”

The Museum Review

View Publication Info
Field Value
Title Art and the precariousness of the aesthetic: Images of the Prophet and narratives behind “beautiful objects”
Creator Ryan, PhD, Louise F.
Description Controversy surrounding the exhibiting of artefacts depicting the Prophet Muhammad has become a global “hot topic” in both private and public spheres in contemporary times. The resulting religious, cultural, political, and societal tensions affect individuals, communities, and institutions, especially the museum where many of these images reside. Such polemical disputes are problematic for these cultural entities seeking to attract and maintain diverse audiences, significantly influencing their decision-making and politics of display.Based on qualitative empirical evidence and primary and secondary textual sources, this article maintains that the story of an object’s journey through space and time can impact audience attitudes and mindsets especially if rich contextual histories and narratives are promoted in museum spaces. Discussion and analysis will serve to highlight the potential of museum encounters to enlighten and promote understanding through an overview of the religious/historical trajectory of depictions of the Prophet, current museological approaches, in-depth analysis of a particular artwork, and reactions to its display at a specific exhibition site. Final recommendations suggest that exhibiting and encouraging appreciation of “controversial” displays through exposure to an object’s multiple layers of meaning can challenge the viewer to reflect and reconsider their mindsets.
Publisher Rogers Publishing Corporation NFP
Date 2017-11-06
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Format application/pdf
Source The Museum Review; Vol 2 No 1 (2017)
Language eng
Rights Copyright (c) 2018 Louise F. Ryan, PhD

Contact Us

The PKP Index is an initiative of the Public Knowledge Project.

For PKP Publishing Services please use the PKP|PS contact form.

For support with PKP software we encourage users to consult our wiki for documentation and search our support forums.

For any other correspondence feel free to contact us using the PKP contact form.

Find Us


Copyright © 2015-2018 Simon Fraser University Library