Spiritual Edifices of Islam

See drawings of the world’s most significant historic mosques by acclaimed Syrian-American artist Wahbi Al-Hariri Rifai.

20201012 EDIF 010 Al Azhar Mosque 1200

Al Azhar Mosque, Cairo, Egypt, drawn by Wahbi Al-Hariri Rifai. All Rights Reserved

Spiritual Edifices of Islam comprises 33 graphite drawings completed by Al-Hariri between 1990 and 1994.

The famed Syrian-American artist travelled to 16 countries, from Spain to China, to draw from life the beauty and rich diversity of historic Islamic architecture.

Al-Hariri was born in 1914 in Aleppo, Syria. He studied in Rome, Italy and Paris, France. In addition to his artistic practice he was the architect of significant buildings in Syria and Saudi Arabia. He died in 1994.

Spiritual Edifices of Islam was first exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, USA in 1999 and has been shown at major museums and venues around the world. It is displayed at Canterbury Museum alongside Mosque: Faith, Culture, Community, an exhibition developed by the Museum in partnership with Christchurch Muslims who are keen to share knowledge and understanding about Islam.

Spiritual Edifices of Islam is on loan from GDG Exhibits Trust, Washington, D.C.

12 December 2020 – 2 May 2021
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