Reviews

This splendidly edited book has come to light in conjunction with a homonymous exhibition organised by the Asian Gallery of the Powerhouse Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney (September 2004 – February 2005), gathering items from state collections of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and from the private collections of Guy Petherbridge and Dee Court.  An overall introduction on Central Asia and Central Asian art (Islamic period) by Christina Summer (pp. 9-16) is followed by two substantial articles on techniques represented in the exhibition: textiles, from ancient Soghd to the present, with paragraphs on social uses, regional styles, and varied techniques (by Christina Summer, pp.  17-32—with a subchapter by Koryogdi J. Jumaev on Bukhara embroidery of the nineteenth century) and ceramics, with a historical overview and paragraphs on glazing techniques and potters (by Guy Petherbridge, pp. 86-96—with a subchapter by Akbar & Alisher Rakhimov on Uzbek potters).  Both chapters are followed by a number of high-quality colour-plates on exhibits, each of which is accompanied by a short descriptive and attributive notice.  Justice must be done to this wonderful album, the result of an original and difficult organisational endeavour associating Central Asian state museums and private collectors from Australia, for a high-quality communication of the resources of two major Central Asian arts, from the beginning of the Islamic era to our days.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-4.4-370