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Roboyat: an installation of robots in Portland OR, inspired by the Rubaiyat

April 9, 2017

Martin Kimeldorf has alerted us to the following unusual spin-off from the Rubaiyat.   If any reader manages to get to Portland to see the show, please post a comment below.  We wish we could go ourselves.

Omar Khayyam’s famous 11th century poem, the Rubaiyat, informs the structure, context and content of Merridawn and Geordie Duckler’s cacophonous new installation, Roboyat. However, while Khayyam wrote about the fleeting nature of existence, the Ducklers are concerned with the anti-topical and what lasts beyond current manias. “We are interested in ideas of translation, the ephemeral and daily image, what lasts and doesn’t, the lineages that keep poetry and visual art alive, in science and in language as a visual medium,” they explain.

Along with deep regard for Khayyam’s classic work, the self-taught artists, who are brother and sister, bring humor and a giant dose of futurism to their task. “The installation is a meditation on the art and artifacts in our world as envisioned by the imagined future, in the form of the Roboyats,” they say.

Included in the installation is a collection of 500 robots amassed by Geordie and ranging in size from tiny to looming.  The show is at the Blackfish Gallery 420 NW 9th Ave Portland OR 97209 503.224.2634.  It runs April 4 – 29, 2017 .  For more information go to .

Today is Edward FitzGerald’s birthday

March 31, 2017

31st March 2017 marks the 208th anniversary of the birth of Edward FitzGerald in 1809.  Please join us in raising a glass of something appropriate to celebrate the event and to show our appreciation of the treasure he left us in his Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Research Day on Omar Khayyam in Leiden Sat. 27th May 2017

March 23, 2017

We have just received notification of this exciting event in Leiden at the end of May.  There is more information in the poster below and, for further details, please contact Asghar Seyed-Gohrab on . 

Leiden Poster mei 2017

“The Golden Age of Rubáiyát Art, 1884-1913”: A Complete Catalog

March 20, 2017

Danton O’Day has sent us details of his major new contribution to the study of Rubaiyat illustration.  He writes as follows.

For the past three years, I have been compiling a book on the artwork done for books of Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám published from 1884-1913. This was an intense period that not only included artists who illustrated the quatrains with two or more pictures but also those who decorated or embellished the books. This era, that began with the illustrations and decorations of Elihu Vedder in 1884 and ended with the artwork of René Bull and Edmund J. Sullivan in 1913, was arguably without equivalent in the history of the Rubáiyát. It is cataloged in three volumes in “The Golden Age of Rubáiyát Art, 1884-1913”.

My friend Ronald Falcioni, an artist and retired art instructor, suggested the name because of the numerous talents who illustrated the Rubáiyát during this first thirty years of artistry. The well illustrated series is divided into three volumes: I. The Illustrators (artists who did two or more pictures to illustrate the verses); II. Popular Themes, verses and popular topics that were most frequently illustrated; and, III. The Decorators, artists who decorated or otherwise embellished the books.

In addition to the majority of pictures that have not been seen since they were originally published over 100 years ago, a multitude of new facts and details are presented. Charts and tables provide additional information and timelines for the artistry. In addition, a new illustrator and a new page decorator, which were introduced in earlier blogs to this site, are detailed.

One goal of completely cataloging this artistic era in the history of FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát was to stimulate new interest in detailing the complete artistic history of the amazing collection of Fitz’s and Omar’s four-line verses. Another was to provide in one place detailed examples of each of the artists who contributed to “The Golden Age of Rubáiyát Art”.

The book is published as a hardcover with photo-quality paper and a printed cover. For more information, please follow the URLs listed below or contact me (

Available in an 8 x 10” hardcover photo-quality editions with printed cover:

I.    The Illustrators.

II.   Popular Themes.

III. The Decorators.

Volume                          ISBN                            # Pages            Hardcover

I. The Illustrators            9781366232786                168                   US$84.99

II. Popular Themes         9781366232717                  68                    US$59.99

III. The Decorators         9781366232656                  90                   US$64.99

Sipping from the Rubáiyát’s Chalice by Martin Kimeldorf – New information

March 15, 2017

Martin has provided new information on the various formats in which his book can be obtained.  For information about the book see

This new book is now available in both print form or as a portable eBook. Some prefer taking their entire library with them on a Kindle, iPad, Nook eBook type reader. Others prefer to sit before a fireplace or under a tree with a bottle of wine while reading verse from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. I must confess that I began as a reluctant eBook reader, but having tried it a year ago I can now see it as a useful option.

If You Want The Print Version…$8.00 + shipping

Amazon is the only place you can get a print version of this book.

You can read about this title on Amazon at this abbreviated link:  Or use the regular link: Sipping From The Rubaiy#2401DA6.  If you live outside the US, you need to purchase it from your country’s version of Amazon. For example, those in England would go to the site. Amazon also allows you to purchase an additional eBook version to take with you on your Kindle for only $.99. Who knew?

If You Want The eBook Version…$4.50

Kindle eBook

Try this link: Sipping From The Rubaiy#2401DA6 then click on the Kindle link.  A few pages for preview are found at: Sipping From The Rubaiy#23FA772 

Non-Kindle eBooks

You can go to a single universal link and find the platform you prefer. Here is the link:  At this web page you’ll find a short list of most of the popular eBook platform options:

·         Nook for Barnes & Noble
·         iTunes for Apple iBook (reading on iPads, iPhones, etc.)
·         Scribd
·         Kobo
·         inktera
·         Page Foundry
·         Tolino

Note to other authors

I used Create Space to develop my POD print option. Then I created a Kindle (mobi) and non-Kindle (epub) version using Draft To Digital (D2D). D2D also distributes to non-kindle eBook streams. I can recommend both companies for honesty and customer support.

Are Rubaiyat illustrations largely a matter of visual kitsch?

March 2, 2017

aokcover17In an article recently posted on his website, Bob Forrest has gone back to an interesting question raised by Robert Irwin in his review of our book The Art of Omar Khayyam published by I B Taurus in 2007.  The review, in the Times Literary Supplement of 13.07.07, suggested that the book was ‘mostly an encyclopedia of visual kitsch’.  Irwin also drew attention to the limited number of well-known book illustrators who had illustrated the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Bob Forrest discusses the issue of ‘visual kitsch’ in the context both of the wider phenomenon of the Omar Cult and the parallel illustration of other key books particularly The Arabian Nights about which Irwin has written.  Bob also considers in some detail the ‘roll-call of artists who never illustrated the Rubaiyat’ and he provides much information about them and their involvement with the poem that is certainly new to these readers.  His article is a valuable contribution to the study of the influence of FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat on artistic work and in other fields, and its relationship to wider artistic developments.  The full analysis together with illustrations can be found on

Celebration of Khayyam at Duke University North Carolina

February 24, 2017

Barney Rickenbacker has sent us information about a concert of Persian Music and Classical Dance In Celebration of  Khayyam, which is taking place in Duke University, North Carolina, USA, on Saturday 25th February.  There are more details in the poster below.  If we have other readers in the area, who might be able to get to this event, we should be delighted to post a report of what happens.  It sounds a very interesting evening.