Art Review: Getting to the Bottom of ‘Islamic Art’

NEW YORK — The West has a problem when dealing with the cultures of the lands that adhered to Islam over time. It begins with apprehending their differences, far greater than those that separate European nations.

On the museum scene, the meaningless label “Islamic art” is stuck to works visually and conceptually unrelated.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which ranks among the world’s four or five greatest institutions of its kind, the recently opened “Islamic department” unwittingly illustrates the confusion.