Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, July 6 on PBS (VIDEO)

Tune in alert for Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World which transports viewers to nine countries and across 1,400 years of cultural history to explore the astonishing riches of Islamic art and architecture.

The program premieres July 6, 2012, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) as part of the PBS Arts Summer Festival, a seven-week event with films that highlight art, artists and performances from around the world.

Executive producers Alexander Kronemer and Michael Wolfe of Unity Productions Foundation created this 90-minute special. Produced and directed by Robert Gardner and narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, Islamic Art not only explores the art of religious life in Islamic culture, but also reveals the secret world of rulers and their private palaces.

“Though Islamic art differs from Western art in some respects, like all art it carries the values and perspectives of its creators, as well as those who commissioned it — whether religious or secular,” says Gardner. “The film provides a never-before-seen window into a culture of increasing importance to America, and sheds light on the shared histories between Western culture and Islamic culture, revealing over time much more continuity than division.”

Developed over two years, the film presents breathtaking high-definition footage of Egypt, Israel, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Iran, Spain, Mali and India.

Showcasing an extraordinary array of architecture, textiles, paintings and metalwork, the scenes in the film illuminate the history of a unique culture and reflect the Islamic world as it is today.

“Audiences will explore exotic vistas that many of us have never seen, gaining access to some of the Islamic world’s most sacred places,” says Kronemer. “In addition to its beauty, the film has real weight, correctly depicting the relationship between Islamic and Western civilizations not as a centuries-long deadlock but as an often creative conversation between powerful forces.”

The PBS Arts Summer Festival takes viewers on an exploration of nearly 20 cities around the globe, offering an in-depth look at music, theater, art, architecture and cultural history from some of the world’s unique locations. Award-winning television, film and stage star Anna Deavere Smith (“Nurse Jackie,” “The West Wing”) serves as host for the festival, which begins Friday, June 29, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings).

The full PBS ARTS SUMMER FESTIVAL schedule follows.

·         MARIACHI HIGH, June 29, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET

·         ISLAMIC ART: MIRROR OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD, July 6, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET

·         JOHN LEGUIZAMO’S TALES FROM A GHETTO KLOWN, July 13, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET


·         HAVANA, HAVANA!, July 27, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET

·         THE BARNES COLLECTION, August 3, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET

·         GREAT PERFORMANCES “Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration,” August 10, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET