First private Qatari collector shares major collection at the Museum of Islamic Art

 27 Aug 2017 - 18:38

First private Qatari collector shares major collection at the Museum of Islamic Art
Fadel Al Mansoori, Collector during the media tour at his exhibition Powder and Damask which opened officially at the Museum of Islamic Art . Baher Amin

The Peninsula Online

Doha: The “Powder and Damask: Islamic Arms and Armour” from the Collection of Fadel Al Mansoori exhibition opened today at the Museum of Islamic Art. 

The exhibition, running from August 27, 2017 through May 12, 2018, presents edged weapons and firearms crafted primarily in Turkey, Iran and India from the 17th to the mid-19th century. The exhibition was curated by Dr Mounia Chekhab Abudaya and Julia Tugwell of MIA, with support from Al Mansoori.

Fadel Al Mansoori, who became the first Qatari collector to exhibit his private collection at MIA, was on hand to walk guests through artefacts that represent some of the best examples of craftsmanship from the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires. The objects displayed at MIA are excellent examples of the diverse styles and materials, such as ivory, horn, gold inlay, semiprecious stones and calligraphy, used to decorate weapons during this time period.

Abudaya, co-curator of the exhibition, said: “We were honoured to be entrusted with the care of such an extensive and impressive collection of arms and armour artefacts. As a curator, it’s also personally gratifying to see the amazing preservation and care Al Mansoori dedicated to his collection, which now translates to an outstanding experience for MIA visitors.”

Al Mansoori said: “As my collection grew, I was drawn to the obvious interconnection between distant cultures evident through the similar style and taste of decoration used across Turkey, India and Iran around the same time period. This aspect of art, its ability to transcend cultures, is something that should be treasured and celebrated and I am proud and grateful to have the opportunity to display my collection at such a prestigious venue.”

The exhibition captures Al Mansoori’s passion for arms and amour, which began six years ago and developed into an excellent collection of arms and armour exemplifying high craftsmanship. An avid believer in the careful preservation of history, Al Mansoori has given several lectures at MIA on Islamic weapons in general and on Damascus steel, as well as on his experience in restoration.

A range of educational programmes, workshops, activities and events will be organised alongside the exhibition. 

More information on upcoming educational programmes are available here www.qm.org.qa/education