I.M. Pei Designed Museum of Islamic Art to Open in Qatar, November

August 8th, 2008

Museum of Islamic Art, via slickrockfilms

The 337,000 sq ft Museum of Islamic Art is designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei and is reportedly his last project at the age of 91. The “MIA” will open November 22 in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Surrounding the tiny country is Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, UAE commerce hub Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, where branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim will open in 2013. The Museum of Islamic Art is to preserve, study, and exhibit masterpieces spanning three continents and 13 centuries.

I.M. Pei designed Islamic Museum of Art opens; run by 25 year old Qatar royalty [Wmagazine]
In separate events, Qatar’s ruling family buys 72.8M Rothko, $52.7M Bacon, $19M Hirst [ArtObserved]
Art and Architecture in the Middle East [TimesUK]
Middle East museum a tasteful alternative to flashy development [SmartBrief]
Museum of Islamic Art: an international centre for dialogue [MuslimNews]

Mayassa Al-Thani via Wmagazine

For the past decade, the Al-Thani royal family has purchased nearly every important piece of Islamic art to come onto the art market for soaring sums. Controversy might arise from the many figurative pieces, outlawed in Islamic tenets. Slated to run the multibillion dollar organization is the 25 year old daughter of Qatar’s highest ruler, her Excellency Mayassa Al-Thani, who was educated at Duke University in the US.

164 ft atrium in the museum, via Wmagazine

Plans for a contemporary museum in Qatar is suspected to be in the works as well – the Al-Thani family recently snatched up Damien Hirst’s Lullaby Spring for $19.2M (a record for the artist), and were also purported to be the anonymous buyers for the “Rockefeller Rothko,” which sold for $72.8 million, also covered by ArtObserved here.