DOHA: Qatar Museums will collaborate with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in a partnership involving the exchange of exhibitions, programs and scholarly cooperation, Qatar News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Qatar Museums has made a donation to the prestigious New York museum to commemorate the reopening of Qatar’s reimagined Museum of Islamic Art and the 10th anniversary of the Met’s opening of renovated Islamic art department galleries.
In turn, the Met’s art collection from the Umayyad and Abbasid periods has been named the Qatar Gallery.
Under the Abbasid caliphate (750–1258), which succeeded the Umayyads (661–750), the focal point of Islamic political and cultural life shifted eastward from Syria to Iraq.
As part of the collaboration, Qatar Museums has loaned works from its collections to the Met for exhibitions such as “Jerusalem in the Middle Ages” (2016), “Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy” (2015), “The Great Age of the Seljuks” (2016), and “Monumental Journey: Girault de Prangey’s Daguerreotypes” (2016).
Works from the Met’s collection will be on display in Doha from Oct. 26 in a special exhibition at the newly renovated Museum of Islamic Art. The exhibition, “Baghdad: Eyes Delight,” focuses on the art of the Abbasid period, one of two classical eras featured in the Met’s Qatar Gallery.
“The establishment of the Qatar Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art highlights the collegiality between our institutions and our desire to advance a crucial goal we hold in common, to heighten appreciation everywhere for the art of the Islamic world,” Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatar Museums’ chairperson, said.
“We are proud to come together with the Met to honor the beauty, depth and variety of a global tradition that spans 14 centuries,” Al-Thani added.
Max Hollein, director of the Met, said: “This gift is the latest instance of the longstanding relationship between our institutions, and marks the start of a broad partnership encompassing the exchange of exhibitions, programs and scholarly cooperation.
“This critical support is especially meaningful as we mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Met’s renovated Islamic art department galleries, which continue to be a source of great interest and inspiration for our millions of yearly visitors.”
The collaboration between the cultural institutions contributes to Qatar Museum’s mission of sharing art and culture from Qatar and the region with the rest of the world.
It is also a legacy project of Qatar Museums’ 2021 Year of Culture program, which celebrated the strong ties between Qatar and the US through a year-long cultural exchange.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani attended the launch ceremony held at the Met to celebrate the partnership with Qatar Museums.
He toured the museum, including the Qatar Gallery with its Islamic manuscripts and artwork.