Please Note: This program has an updated date (originally publicized as May 18, 2023).
The mosque is the defining element of an Islamic community. While there are a few essential components of a mosque, over time and across geographies an astonishing variety of form, building materials, and decoration in mosque architecture developed.
With the spread of Islam around the world, mosques that were built for Muslim communities maintained the core components needed for the building’s function, but developed regional styles depending on local building materials, architectural traditions, and climate. Looking closely at some of the most iconic and spectacular examples of mosques from different parts of the Islamicate world provides a sense of this regional and temporal variety.
Beginning with an introduction to the mosques built in the first centuries of Islam and their component parts, Nancy Micklewright, a specialist in the history of Islamic art and architecture, discusses how the buildings functioned as the religion was taking shape. Her tour of mosques around the world ends in the greater Washington area, where mosques in a variety of styles and sizes can be found, serving a range of Muslim communities. From one of the smallest and oldest to one of the newest and most grand, Micklewright explores how these buildings maintain a connection with a building tradition that stretches back to the 7th century CE.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.