Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art is dedicated to reflecting the full vitality, complexity and diversity of the arts of the Islamic world. It is a world-class collecting institution, which preserves, studies and exhibits masterpieces spanning three continents and 13 centuries. As a centre for information, research and creativity, the Museum aims to reach a wide global audience and serve as a hub for dialogue and cultural exchange.
Representing the full scope of Islamic art, the collection includes manuscripts, ceramics, metal, glass, ivory, textiles, wood and precious stones. Collected from three continents, including countries across the Middle East, and reaching as far as Spain and India, the Museum’s artworks date from the 7th through to the 19th century. The pieces represent the diversity found in Islamic heritage and are of the highest quality.
The collection is exhibited on two floors of galleries that encircle the atrium of the Museum. Visitors journey through time and across regions, as the galleries are dedicated to stylistic or historical themes.
The Museum is composed of a five-story Main Building and a two-story Education Wing, which are connected across a central courtyard.
The Main Building’s angular volumes step back progressively as they rise around a 50-m-high (164ft)central domed atrium. The dome is concealed from outside view by the walls of a central tower. A sheet of glass rises to a height of 45m (148ft) on the north side of the Museum offering views of the Gulf and West Bay area of Doha from all five floors of the atrium.
Ceilings are constructed of intricate cast-in place architectural concrete coffered domes, finished with individual molds.
At the top of the atrium is the circular oculus of a stainless steel dome, which captures facets of patterned light. The form of the dome changes as the structure descends, so its perimeter becomes an octagon and then a square, which in turn is transformed into four triangular column supports.
The Museum of Islamic Art
Telephone: +974 4422 4444
Hours: The Museum of Islamic Art is open Saturday through Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Museum is closed on Tuesdays, December 25 and the first day of Eid.
Admission: There is no charge for admission to the Museum, or to the first Temporary Exhibition. A charge will be made for future Temporary Exhibitions.
Qatar National Museum
Built in 1901, this palace complex, consisting of three separate houses, was used by the then ruler Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani and his sons. Sheikh Abdullah moved to the Al Bidda area around 1924, and the Fariq Al Salatah Palace remained uninhabited until the early 1970s.
The palace was preserved and reconstructed and turned into Qatar National Museum in 1975 to provide a permanent display of Qatar’s history, heritage, and environment past and present activities to maintain an inseparable link between its glorious past, its prosperous present and its promising future.
In 1980, the building won the Agha Khan award for restoration and rehabilitation of Islamic architecture.
The Qatar National Museum is currently undergoing renovation and refurbishment. The site itself is of interest since the buildings fronting the lagoon mark the original shoreline. The Museum is located on the Corniche.
Museum of Orientalists
The Orientalist Collection of the State of Qatar is one of the most significant collections ever assembled in the world. The approximate 700 hundred paintings, water colours, drawings and prints, acquired over the last twenty years, trace Orientalism back to the early 18th century.
Orientalist art can be simply defined as a Western style of art whose subject is the East. Western artisits, fascination with the ‘other world’, the East, is expressed in paintings filled with colour and light. The grandiose landscapes, the antique ruins, the views of Islamic cities and the exotic scenes of everyday life reflect a characteristically European concept of the East. In Europe and also in America, a collective fascination with the East helped to make Orientalist painting a great success with the public during the whole of the 19th century.
Open on appointment
From Qatar Museum Authority
The museum houses a spectacular display of weapons and artifacts dating back to the 16th century. The collection has magnificent ceremonial swords that belonged to members of the Gulf’s ruling families: an 18th century gold-encased dagger owned by Sheikh Ali Bin Abdullah Al Thani; a sword belonging to King Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia; and a khanjar (traditional curved dagger) carried by the famed Lawrence of Arabia. The beauty and rarity of this collection bears witness to craftsmanship that has been lost for generations. The Museum is in the Al Luqta area of Doha and is open mornings, Sunday to Thursday, by appointment only, after obtaining a letter of authorisation from the Museums Authority.
For details, call 4486 7473. A visit can also be arranged with a tour company.
Sheikh Faisal collection
This magnificent private collection was acceded to His Highness Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani by his father, Sheikh Qassim bin Faisal. Beginning its life in the 1960s, it has now grown in size and splendor and is now beautifully displayed at the museum for the public to enjoy.
The sizeable 17,000 sqm building features more than 15,000 unique pieces, including ancient Islamic manuscripts, major archaeological findings, militaria, textiles, carpets, embroidery and antique furniture. There is also a comprehensive and fascinating collection of historic cars, including a 19th century steam vehicle. In an expression of Qatar’s renowned respect for cultural diversity, the museum’s pavilions will also display religious objects from other faiths.
Planning a visit
The museum is open to everyone, individuals and groups, and entrance is free for all visitors. Anyone wanting to visit needs to make an appointment, so please call +974 44861444 to book your visit. For more information, visit the museum website http://www.faisalmuseum.com UTM coordinates N 25° 21' 10" E 51° 15' 17"
The Museum is in Al Samariyah, 22 km west of Doha. Take the road to Dukhan, and follow the signs “Al Samariyah Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum”. When going towards Dukhan, you will need to make a U-turn as the museum is located on the opposite side of the road.
Arab modern Art museum
Based on a collection amassed 10 years ago by Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohammed Al Thani, the Arab Museum for Modern Art will be housed in a specially designed building in Doha, and among the facilities of Education City.
The museum is open for researchers, artists, students, art historians and the general public. Works will include more than 5,000 paintings, sculptures, calligraphy, graphics, applied arts and photography. But despite its name, the museum will not just house modern pieces. The Calligraphy section will feature examples of Arabic calligraphy from Qur’anic manuscripts of early Islamic centuries to modern times. More than 700 antiques, sculptures, metalwork and ceramic items will reveal the influence of ancient civilisations on contemporary Arab art, with some dating back 5,000 years.
Due to completion in a near future, the Photographic Museum was designed by Santiago Calatrava, one of the most famous architects in the world. This unique museum will become a landmark within the urban setting and contribute to the urban development of the area situated in the centre of Doha City. The Government collection of photography - composed of some 15,000 items including historic cameras and accessories, and prominent photographs, 1960's albums and historic documents - will be exhibited, along some temporary exhibitions.
Over 51,000 books in Arabic and other languages on Qatar and the Middle East, together with 600 antique maps, 2,000 manuscripts and 6,000 original photographs, it forms The Arabian and Islamic Heritage Library in Qatar, another initiative of HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned through Qatar Foundation. It's one of the biggest research centres in the Middle East, and is based on a collection started by Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohamed Al Thani in 1979.
It has grown steadily since then through planned acquisition and purchase.
The collection include Arab manuscripts, a foreign language section dating back to the 15th century, and 20th century books about art and politics. The library is scheduled to open by 2010 in a new, specially designed building.
Waqif Art Center
Located in Souq Waqif, the Waqif Art Center aims to preserve and enhance both Qatari and Middle Eastern artistic traditions, bringing together those who love art and culture to share knowledge and ideas, talent and inspiration.
Over the centuries the art of the Middle East has developed a visual language that continuously inspires some of the most famous names in art, yet for decades our finest artists have felt the need to move to major art centers in Europe and America to have their work seen and appreciated. As new museums and galleries open across the region, there has never been a more important time to establish a new center for art commerce in Doha in order to convey Qatar's artistic message to the rest of the world.
A cultural destination, the Waqif Art Center will contribute to making a new cultural and creative hub in Doha, with its involvement in the most up-to-date, contemporary art culture without compromising the aesthetics of tradition and heritage inherent to the location. With an open attitude and the spirit to experiment with exhibition methods, the Waqif Art Center wants to show art from “here and now.”
Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar’s gallery
The gallery at the VCU-Q campus in Education City regularly hosts visiting exhibitions as well as the work of faculty members and students. On those occasions, the gallery is open to the general public.
Located in the heart of a city and region with an extraordinarily vibrant and diverse cultural heritage, VCUQatar plays a central role in the modern cultural life of Qataris and Middle Easterners. Whether in the studio, the library, the computer laboratory, or the lecture halls, students can expand their cultural perspectives as well as acquire expertise for the workplace within an energetic and compassionate learning environment.
Al Rumeila Park
Al Rumeila landscaped park on the Corniche has an Art Gallery, open 9 am – 12 pm and 4 pm – 9 pm daily (entrance is free).
Youth Creative Art Center
Located on Ali bin Abi Tabib Street (off D Ring Road), the center features classes as well as art exhibitions for children and adults.
Call 468-8835 for information.
Qatar Fine Arts Society
Qatar Fine Arts Society was founded in February 1980 and gathered 18 members. Today, 150 artists - Qatari and Qatari residents - are part of the society. Qatar Fine Arts Society's aim is to promote and support Qatar's artists locally and internationally. Throughout the years, the society organized many exhibitions, events, debates and launched publications. The society has also established connections with many Arab and international organizations that share the same visions and goals.
Girls’ creativity center
Located in Mamoora, Arts club for young girls and ladies, hosting exhibitions on a regular basis.
Tel : (+974) 4468 8837
Qatar Visual Art Center
The Center provides its services in all cultural, visual artistic and human production fields, including: Basics of coloring and painting, all kinds of printing, graphics, photography, pottery, sculpture, Arabic calligraphy, Islamic professional ornamentation, designing and shaping of various materials, textile printing, batik, designing by computer and video filming and production.
The Center's activity includes organizing international symposia and exhibitions in the field of visual arts, preparing studies and research and establishing strong ties and coordination with international establishments, museums, institutions and artists.
The Al Jasra Social and Cultural Club is located on the Corniche opposite the HSBC building. This club offers cultural and social activities inside the country and abroad. It aims to spread cultural and social awareness , support and encourage young talents and conserve the heritage and traditional customs.
For more information contact 4432-4134.