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Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys: Multimedia

A project of the National Endowment for the Humanities is aimed to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the globe.

Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World

Islamic Art Spots

Islamic Art Spots

The Islamic Art Spots are seven visual essays, presented in a series of short films designed to make art from Muslim societies an integral part of the Muslim Journeys experience.

The Art Spots were written and presented by D. Fairchild Ruggles, Professor of Art, Architecture, and Landscape History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and produced by Twin Cities Public Television.

The Arts of the Book and Miniature Painting

This brief video describes the Islamic arts of the book and book illustration in the form of miniature painting.

The Arts of Trade and Travel

The obligation to make the pilgrimage (known as the hajj) to Mecca, combined with the tradition of global trade in Muslim societies, makes international travel important in the lives of many Muslims.  This brief video highlights the arts associated with these traditions of trade and travel.


This video describes the arts of Islamic calligraphy, the artistic practice of handwriting based on the Arabic script.


This brief video expores the effect of geometric lines and curves on ornamental design in Islamic art, and illlustrates how they also characterize the timeless, breathtaking architecture of the Muslim world.

Islamic Gardens

This brief video describes the forms, functions, features, and significance of the garden in Islamic societies, and the motif of gardens in various artistic genres.

Islamic Textiles

This brief video describes the arts of weaving, knotting, and dyeing fabrics, including patterned carpets, woven calligraphy and their uses in Muslim cultures at all levels of society.

Mosques and Religious Architecture

This video describes the structure, architecture and decoration of mosques and other religious buildings and discusses their variations in Muslim societies across geography and time.

Prince Among Slaves