Building a Moroccan Court Inside the Met (Video)
In 2011, the Metropolitan Museum of Art unveiled the Patti Cadby Birch Court, an extraordinary Moroccan court nestled within its walls. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this architectural wonder was brought to life through the collaborative efforts of a dedicated team, including curators, historians, designers, and skilled craftsmen. The inspiration for the Moroccan Court traces its roots to the historic madrasas of Fez, which served as the heart of intellectual and cultural life in the Western Islamic world during the medieval era. Drawing from traditional methods dating back to the 15th century, the craftsmen from the Naji Family played a pivotal role in recreating this masterpiece. Their hands, weathered from years of dedication, shaped every intricate detail.
The courtyard's design skillfully blends elements from Fez and Islamic Spain, incorporating the mesmerizing art of zillij, or cut-tile mosaic. The colors, predominantly blues and greens, evoke a sense of comfort and connection to nature. Moroccan architecture, with its precise patterns and intricate details, was meticulously adapted to fit the intimate setting of the Metropolitan Museum. The craftsmen's dedication to historical authenticity is evident in their use of centuries-old techniques, from plastering walls by hand to meticulously carving stucco with intricate designs. Each piece of the mosaic tile was carefully crafted and placed, creating a harmonious space that transports visitors to a different time and place.
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Top image: Creating a Moroccan Court Inside the Met. Source: YouTube Screenshot / The Met.