Susan Sarandon

Narrated by Susan Sarandon


Toronto Canada Premiere at TIFF Bell Lightbox Office

San Jose Premiere at The Tech Museum

Harvard University Screening at the Sackler Museum

Chicago Premiere at the Muvico Theater

New York Premiere at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Saginaw, MI Premiere at Valley State University's Malcolm Field Theater

Lansing, MI Premiere at Michigan State University

Detroit, MI Premiere at the Detroit Institute of Art

Toledo, OH Premiere at Toledo Museum of Art

Dallas, TX Premiere at Dallas Museum of Art

Portland, OR Premiere at Portland Community College

Minneapolis, MN Premiere at the St. Anthony Main Theatre

Cincinnati, OH Premiere

Wilmington, DE Premiere at Tatnall School Performing Arts Center

Walters Art Museum Screening in Baltimore

Fresno, CA Premiere at the Art Museum of Fresno

Orlando, FL Premiere at Orlando Museum of Art

St. Louis Premiere at Missouri History Museum

Indianapolis Premiere at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Houston, TX Premiere at the Bayou Event Center

Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Atlanta Premiere at Woodruff Arts Center

Fort Wayne, IN Premiere at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art

A Documentary Film from Executive Producers Michael Wolfe and Alex Kronemer and Director Rob Gardner

PBS Broadcast in 2012 (Date TBD)

UPF is proud to present its latest documentary film, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World. This new ninety-minute film takes audiences on an epic journey across nine countries and over 1,400 years of history. It explores themes such as the Word, Space, Ornament, Color and Water and presents the stories behind many great masterworks of Islamic Art and Architecture.

The film explores the richness of Islamic art in objects big and small, from great ornamented palaces and the play of light in monumental mosques to the exquisite beauty of ceramics, carved boxes, paintings and metal work. It revels in the use of color and finds commonalities in a shared artistic heritage with the West and East. The film also examines the unique ways in which Islamic art turns calligraphy and the written word into masterpieces and develops water into an expressive, useful art form.

Like all art, Islamic art carries with it the fundamental values and perspectives of the artists who created it as well as those who commissioned and paid for it. It incorporates the basic themes of transcendent beauty common to all creative endeavors.

Narrated by Academy Award winning performer Susan Sarandon, this dazzling documentary reveals the variety and diversity of Islamic art. It provides a window into Islamic culture and brings broad insights to the enduring themes that have propelled human history and fueled the rise of world civilization over the centuries.

Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes

Executive Producers: Alex Kronemer and Michael Wolfe

Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet; Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain; Prince Among Slaves; On a Wing and A Prayer: An American Muslim Learns to Fly; Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think

Produced and Directed by Rob Gardner

Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land; Islam: Empire of Faith; Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain; Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think; Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire

The images we see of Islam in the media often conjure images of international terrorism, submissive women, or angry mobs in protest somewhere overseas. In this flood of stereotype-inducing images, we often lose sight of the more elegant and rich parts of Islamic civilization and culture. A new documentary film, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World by Unity Productions Foundation (PBS broadcast summer 2012) seeks to present some of the riches of Islamic artistic contributions to an American audience.

The mainstream portrayal of Islam does not usually deal with transcendent beauty, elegant ornamentation, or intricate calligraphy. But might art be one of the keys to healing some of the chasms and conflicts that have plagued Muslim-West relations over the last 10 years?

The Education Program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Art of Ancient Egypt: A Resource for Educators
The art of ancient Egypt and the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art come together in this comprehensive resource for educators, which includes summaries of ancient Egyptian history and art, maps, lesson plans and classroom activities, a bibliography, and a glossary. The descriptions of the works and other information are aimed at increasing knowledge and pleasure in viewing Egyptian art at the Metropolitan or other museums. The materials can be adapted for students of all ages, interests, and abilities, and can be used to enrich any curriculum.

Art of the Ancient Near East: A Resource for Educators
Many features of civilization originated in the lands we call the ancient Near East, a vast and varied area from Turkey to the Indus Valley of present-day Pakistan and from the Caucasus to the Arabian Peninsula. This essential guide for K–12 educators introduces the variety and diversity of art produced by the rich and complex cultures that flourished in this region during an equally vast time period, from the eighth millennium B.C. to the middle of the seventh century A.D. Learn about the cultural, archaeological, and historical contexts for a selection of thirty works of art in the form of sculpture, silver and gold ritual vessels and objects, monumental reliefs, cuneiform tablets, and stamp and cylinder seals. Curriculum connections, discussion questions, lesson plans, and activities for a range of grade levels provide useful strategies for teaching in the classroom. The resource also includes a bibliography and glossary.

Islamic Art and Geometric Design: Activities for Learning
Examine the principles of geometric design that are the basis for the beautiful and intricate patterns in the art of the Islamic world. Includes a brief overview of Islamic art, an introduction to related works in the Museum, and a series of pattern-making activities (including reproducible grids) for use in the classroom. Teachers can readily adapt these materials to create exciting lessons in art, culture, math, and geometry.

The Art Institute of Chicago

Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World
Uncover the world of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Italy through 20 works from the Art Institute’s Ancient collection. This extensive manual includes historical essays, discussion questions, classroom applications, self-guides to the Art Institute, language sections, a glossary, bibliography, and related websites.

Gold of Africa
This Art Institute manual introduces teachers to the African gold trade, a selection of gold-producing cultures, and types of objects made out of the precious metal as it tells the history of the trans-Saharan trade that helped to shape West African empires of Ghana, Mali, and Senegal. A map, glossary, suggested discussion questions, and a bibliography are included.

The British Museum

The British Museum’s Web site has lesson plans and resources on its Web site, which include:
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Mesopotamia
Middle East and Islamic World

The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Relations

The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Relations at Georgetown University has a number of educational resources such as:

Write Like a Babylonian is an online cuneiform site

Travel Log: A Mediterranean Journey introduces students to Classical History- the history of the ancient Greeks, Etruscans and Romans- and the artifacts in the collection. Games, puzzles, and opportunities to sketch highlight specific historic themes and make learning fun!

Travel Log: An Ancient Egyptian Journey introduces students to Ancient Egyptian history and the artifacts in the collection. Games, puzzles, and opportunities to sketch highlight specific historic themes and make learning fun

Other Resources:

The” Getty Museum Arts of Fire( Getty Museum Arts of Fire)”: exhibit includes metalwork, glass, and ceramics, and their influence on Renaissance art in Europe

Links to exhibits and collections on Islam at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Detroit Institute of the Arts Islamic Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum Palace and Mosque exhibit (see also sidebar links on the site), The British Museum Galleries by World Region

Al-Bab, Open Door to the Arab World, including many links to countries, cultures and arts, and including a resource by Carol Bier, curator of the Textile Museum, a scholar who analyzes mathematical relations in Islamic art to improve the teaching of mathematics and cultures.

Museum With No Frontiers/DiscoverIslamicArt, a collection of art by period, dynasty, region and other criteria, bringing together works in many museums with their full information. This site also includes interactive learning games featuring objects from the exhibits.






Phone: (202) 298-8088