Raqqa Glazed Terracotta Vase
Designer: Beatriz de Melo Belfrage
Creative Director: Madeline Weinrib
This celebratory initiative commemorates the exceptional Islamic art collections at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, by engaging with global artisans such as Beatriz de Melo Belfrage through The Heirloom Project.
Informed by an academic background in anthropology and politics, Beatriz considers the culture, history, and socioeconomic realities informing artisan traditions around the world. A magnetic attraction to the ancient art form of ceramics yielded formal training with pottery masters in Japan and Korea. Beatriz’s practice has since pivoted to embrace collaboration with highly skilled craftspeople in both Afghanistan and Morocco.
Here, Beatriz discusses her partnership with Moroccan Berber potters to realize four brilliant terracotta vases from The Met’s collection, each inspired by a spectacular vessel in the Museum’s Islamic art holdings: a 12th-century stonepaste jar attributed to the Syrian city of Raqqa; an 11th–12th-century earthenware jar found in Syria; a 9th–10th-century blown-glass bottle attributed to Iraq or Syria; and a molded stonepaste ewer, or vase-shaped pitcher, attributed to 12th–13th-century Iran.
Produced for The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in partnership with Madeline Weinrib, creative director for The Heirloom Project.