Qatar’s Arab Museum of Modern Art launches pre-opening events

October 4, 2010

Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, has launched a series of pre-opening events to introduce the project to the global art community.

The inaugural event in Cairo, hosted by Shaikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani, Mathaf’s founder and Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) vice chairperson, drew a mixed crowd of artists, gallery owners, critics, scholars, collectors and others from the Egyptian art scene, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported on Monday.

In keeping with Mathaf’s vision of being a catalyst for conversations on art and an institution that fosters creativity, the event explored the role that a public art institution can play in current day culture and the possibilities that can be created by such an institution.  

“This is an exciting time for modern art in the Arab world. We have only begun to explore this subject with the depth and rigour it deserves and Mathaf’s main intention is to further this exploration,” Shaikh Hassan said.  

Mathaf opens its doors to the public in December and will provide a forum where artists, scholars, students and the public at large can learn, appreciate and interact with modern and contemporary art in an open and inquisitive atmosphere.  

The museum is built around Shaikh Hassan’s collection spanning three centuries, which was adopted by Qatar Foundation before becoming a joint venture with QMA.    Following the event in Cairo, Mathaf’s pre-opening series will continue in Beirut and Marrakech before moving on to London and Paris, with the concluding event to be held in Doha.

When it opens, Mathaf will present exhibitions featuring pieces from a collection of over 6,000 works and will hold programmes that explore modern Arab art from the 1840s to today.

“Arab artists are now receiving unprecedented visibility and support, in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world,” Shaikh Hassan said. “By making public a century’s worth of distinctive artworks, Mathaf will get people talking about Arab art and help to advance the creativity of the Arab world,” he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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