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Category: Fine Arts, Religion

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  The Art of Daily Life There is no equivalent in the many Native American languages for the word art . Yet the objects here suggest that Native Americans are a highly spiritual people who create objects of extraordinary beauty. In Native American thought there is also no distinction between what is beautiful or functional, and what is sacred or secular. Design goes far beyond concerns of function, and beauty is much more than simple appearances. For many native peoples, beauty arises from living in harmony with the order of the universe.The concerns and aspirations of a vital contemporary American Indian population changes as the world changes.

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  The diverse collections of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts include thousands of works of art that were made for worship or religious ritual. Historically, people have lavished the finest materials and workmanship on those things that represented their most deeply held beliefs. The works of art included here were selected because they illustrate the main theological concepts of the world's major religions. The texts attempt to provide concise overviews and are intended to serve as comparative teaching resources. Each entry was reviewed by a knowledgeable practitioner and/or ordained clergy of that faith.      

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This illustrated manuscript made in southern India in 1837 consists of 72 full-color hand-painted images of men and women of the various castes and religious and ethnic groups found in Madura, India at that time. Each drawing was made on mica, a transparent, flaky mineral which splits into thin, transparent sheets. As indicated on the presentation page, the album was compiled by the Indian writing master at an English school established by American missionaries in Madura, and given to the Reverend William Twining. The manuscript shows Indian dress and jewelry adornment in the Madura region as they appeared before the onset of Western influences on South Asian dress and style.

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The Murthly Hours is one of Scotland's great medieval treasures. Written and illuminated in Paris in the 1280s, it also contains full-page miniatures by English artists of the same period, and was one of the most richly decorated manuscripts in medieval Scotland. Medieval additions include probably the second oldest example of Gaelic written in Scotland.

The entire manuscript has been reproduced here. In the Folios section, you can browse page by page or select a folio from the complete list of titles.

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