The Dallas Museum of Art will become the custodian of The Keir Collection of Islamic art.
Collected in Britain by Edmund de Unger, a Hungarian real-estate magnate who died in 2011… with about 2,000 objects, rich in carpets and textiles, lusterware, manuscripts and rare Fatimid-period rock crystal vessels from the 10th to the 12th centuries, the collection makes Dallas the third most important Islamic collection in the country, after the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington.
"Calligraphy is the most important and pervasive element in Islamic art. It has always been considered the noblest form of art because of its association with the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, which is written in Arabic. This preoccupation with beautiful writing extended to all arts – including secular manuscripts; inscriptions on palaces; and those applied to metalwork, pottery, stone, glass, wood, and textiles – and to non-Arabic-speaking peoples within the Islamic commonwealth whose languages – such as Persian, Turkish, and Urdu – were written in the Arabic script." LA County Museum introduction to Islamic art.
Other institutions like the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, are expanding the profile of Islamic art in the United States where we need a different focus on 'things from the Middle East'.