The Eastern Mediterranean, from Syria across North Africa, comprised the wealthy southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire at the start of the seventh century. By that century’s end, the region was central to the emerging Islamic world.
This exhibition will be the first to display the complex character of the region and its exceptional art and culture during the era of transition—from its role as part of the Byzantine state to its evolving position in the developing Islamic world.
The dialogue between established Byzantine and evolving Islamic styles and culture will be shown through images of authority, religion, and especially commerce. Iconoclasm, as it emerged during that period among the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic communities of the region, will also be addressed.