Falnama: The Book of Omens

October 24, 2009 – January 24, 2010

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Sublevel 1 Floor Plan

Whether by consulting the position of the planets, casting horoscopes, or interpreting dreams, the art of divination was widely practiced throughout the Islamic world. This is the first exhibition to display the most splendid tool devised to foretell the future, a type of illustrated text known as Falnama (Book of Omens). Of some 60 artworks that are on view, the centerpieces are manuscripts -- noted for their monumental size, brilliantly painted compositions, and unusual subject matter -- created in Safavid Iran and Ottoman Turkey in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Illustrated catalogue: Falnama: The Book of Omens