SOAS University of London

Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London

Architecture from the Islamic World

An exhibition of photographs by Edgar Knobloch
25th November 1996 - 14th February 1997

The exhibition of photographs of Islamic architecture has been compiled by Edgar Knobloch. It consists of 230 photographs, some in colour and some black and white, from 17 different countries covering the Islamic world from Spain to China. Historically it ranges from the earliest surviving monuments, the desert castles in Jordan and mosques in Damascus, Kairouan and Córdoba, to more modern buildings from the Berber communities of Morocco or the minaret Khodja Islam in Khiva, Uzbekistan. No exhibition of this breadth has previously been undertaken.

Many of the pictures provide unique images of buildings for which no photographic record was hitherto available. Edgar Knobloch visited several areas, especially in Central Asia, to which access has been extremely difficult in recent years. In a number of cases the monuments he recorded are no longer standing, having been destroyed by a variety of circumstances including military action and lack of conservation resources.

The photographs provide a detailed account of the important influence exerted by Islam on world architecture. Not only do they reveal the beauty of the buildings and the intricate details of the ornament applied to them, the pictures also provide insight into the role that Islam plays in the everyday lives of the inhabitants in the areas depicted.

This exhibition of photographs was first shown at the Náprskovo Muzeum, Prague from April - July 1996.