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Dining with the Sultan at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – theartwolf


Book of Delights - India - late 15th century

From 17 December 2023 to 19 May 2024, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents the exhibition “Dining with the Sultan: The Fine Art of Feasting

Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art · Image: Manuscript, Niʻmatnāmah-i Nāṣirshāhī (Book of Delights), India, late 15th century, The Oriental and India Office Collections of the British Library, London, IO Islamic 149 OR BL. Persian 149, fol.115 b, fol. 40 b, fol. 25 b, fol. 79 b, photo © British Library Images

The act of coming together to partake of a meal is a practice shared by all cultures. Food defines us—we are what we eat. “Dining with the Sultan” is the first exhibition to present Islamic art in the context of its associated culinary traditions. It will include some 250 works of art related to the sourcing, preparation, serving, and consumption of food, from 30 public and private collections in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East—objects of undisputed quality and appeal, viewed through the universal lens of fine dining. The exhibition stimulates not only the eyes but also the appetite, reminding visitors of the communal pleasure of food—both its taste and its presentation. It provides much-needed information on the enormous class of luxury objects that may be broadly defined as tableware and demonstrate how gustatory discernment was a fundamental activity at the great Islamic courts.

“Dining with the Sultan at the Charles White Elementary School”: This companion exhibition to “Dining with the Sultan: The Fine Art of Feasting” addresses the universal importance of food through Islamic art and dining culture. With approximately 60 works from LACMA’s expansive collection of Islamic art related to the sourcing, preparation, serving, and consumption of food, it showcases a variety of materials, decorative techniques, and functions. Dining with the Sultan at Charles White Elementary School will stimulate not only the eyes but also the appetite, reminding visitors of the communal pleasure of food—both its taste and its presentation. It demonstrates how gustatory discernment was a fundamental activity at the great Islamic courts and how specific tastes contributed to the movement of foodstuffs and ingredients through the Islamic world to our plates today.



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