Wonders of Creation, Oddities of Existence: An Exhibition in Celebration of Halley's Comet

March 3, 1986 – October 1, 1986

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC

West Hall Floor Plan

On view are 21 paintings, 2 pieces of metalwork, and a ceramic bowl in an exhibition that examines Islamic attitudes toward the cosmos from the 13th through the 18th centuries. Although none of the objects refer specifically to Halley's comet, each depends upon the cosmos for inspiration. For example, the first part of the exhibition's title and 20 miniatures depicting signs of the zodiac, planets, and constellations are from a 14th-century copy of an encyclopedia cosmology by al Kazwini (1203-1283).