Museum of Islamic Art Doha opens Gifts of the Sultan. The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts

Museum of Islamic Art, Doha opens Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts, an exhibition on view from 19 March – 2 June 2012, the exhibition will feature some of the most spectacular and historically significant works of Islamic art.

Shah Jahan Receives the Persian Ambassador, Muhammad Ali Beg. Folio from the Windsor Padshahnama, India, c. 1633. Ink, colors, and gold on paper. 12 5/8 x 8 5/8. The Royal Collection, Windsor. ©2011 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts is presented by the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (MIA), in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and with support from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The exhibition features more than 200 works of art, representing a rich variety of media across all periods from the 8th century to the present day. Among the highlights to be shown in Doha will be approximately 16 works from the Museum of Islamic Art’s own collection shown for the first time, and an impressive selection of objects from The State Historical and Cultural Museum Preserve (The Kremlin), Moscow, and The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. These works will appear alongside loans from more than 30 major collections and museums around the world including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art and the Topkapi Sarayi Museum, Istanbul; the British Museum, the British Library, and the V&A, London; The Aga Khan Museum Collection, Geneva; and the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin.

“Gifts of the Sultan at the Museum of Islamic Art is an excellent opportunity for the community to learn about the history and etiquette of gift giving in Islamic civilization. We are excited to be collaborating with LACMA on this very important exhibition which celebrates a universal value which was highly regarded in our history.” said Aisha Al Khater, Director of the Museum of Islamic Art. “Through this exhibition, we look forward to inspire and educate our community and we have developed an integrated education programme alongside the exhibition for children and adults.”

Gifts of the Sultan is organized in three broad sections: personal gifts, pious donations, and state and diplomatic gifts. The first section includes objects of personal adornment in the form of jewelry, belts, and garments; precious yet utilitarian pieces, such as vessels of gold, silver, porcelain, and jade; as well as paintings, albums, and manuscripts. The second section highlights gifts of a religious nature, encompassing architectural elements, furnishings, and manuscripts of the Qur’an that comprised a religious institution’s endowment, as well as the endowment deed itself; and works of a secular nature that were gifted to a mosque or shrine. The third and largest section features a broad array of works that were presented on state occasions, ranging from rock crystal pieces and courtly regalia, to places of habitation such as a palace façade.

The exhibition will also include a contemporary component, presenting the work of Sadegh Tirafkan, Shahzia Sikander, Ahmed Mater, and Günseli Kato. These four innovative artists, who have roots in the Islamic world and draw creative inspiration from their cultural traditions, have been commissioned to produce new work interpreting the theme of Gifts of the Sultan.

Alongside the exhibition, the Museum of Islamic Art is planning an extensive education program, including lectures, workshops for children and adults and other activities. Admission tickets to the exhibition are 25 QR, students and children under 16 are admitted free of charge.

Qatar Museums Authority
PO Box 2777
Tel: +(974) 4452 5555

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