Washington, D.C. | November 2, 2023 — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) expresses its deep dismay regarding the decision by the Frick Pittsburgh to postpone the “Treasured Ornament: 10 Centuries of Islamic Art” exhibition, originally slated to open on November 4th. We urge the Frick to reconsider this decision and proceed with the opening as planned.
The exhibition, showcasing fine glassware, ceramics, metalwork, painting, weaponry, weaving, and more from countries across the Middle East and North Africa, is an important celebration of the rich history and cultural diversity of the Arab and Islamic world.
By conflating this exhibition with the Israel-Hamas conflict, the museum is inadvertently perpetuating prejudice and misunderstanding. It is crucial to distinguish between the showcasing of traditional Islamic art, which spans centuries and is reflective of numerous cultures, and contemporary geopolitical conflicts.
It is equally important to recognize that art has the power to bridge divides, foster dialogue, and create mutual understanding. By postponing the exhibition, the museum misses an opportunity to contribute positively to the community.
We respectfully urge Frick Pittsburgh to redress this decision and proceed with the opening of the “Treasured Ornament: 10 Centuries of Islamic Art” exhibition. In doing so, the museum can play a vital role in facilitating conversations that go beyond borders and boundaries, fostering an inclusive environment that enriches everyone.