While the impact of the Persian style is undeniably reflected in most aspects of the art and architecture of Islamic Central Asia, this Perso-Central Asian connection was chiefly formed and articulated by the Euro-American movement of collecting and interpreting the art and material culture of the Persian Islamic world in modern times. This had an enormous impact on the formation of scholarship and connoisseurship in Persian art, for instance, with an attempt to define the characteristics of how the Islamic art of Iran and Central Asia should be viewed and displayed at museums, and how these subjects should be researched in academia. This important historical fact, which has attracted scholarly interest only in recent years, should be treated as a serious subject of research, accepting that the abstract image of Persian art was not a pure creation of Persian civilization, but that it can be the manifestation of particular historical times and charismatic individuals. Attention should therefore be given to various factors that resulted in the shaping of “Persian” imagery across the globe, not only in terms of national ideologies, but also within the context of several protagonists, such as scholars, collectors and dealers, as well as of the objects themselves. This volume brings together Islamic Iranian and Central Asian art experts from diverse disciplinary and professional backgrounds, and intends to offer a novel insight into what is collectively known as Persian art.
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