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25 January 2018 08:55 am

Two art lectures await fans of MIA’s latest exhibitions

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Under the leadership of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) will welcome visitors to two educational lectures hosted at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) at the end of January.  

The first lecture titled, The Awakening of a Persian Beauty, is hosted by Dr. Annette Beselin and discusses the history and restoration of an early Safavid carpet. The carpet, which had been split into two pieces decades ago, was successfully restored and displayed in all its beauty to the public in 2015. The carpet was restored after the Museum for Arts and Crafts in Hamburg succeeded in purchasing the missing half from a private collector.  

The lecture, which will be held on the 25th of January at 6pm, is being organised as part of the final week of MIA’s hugely successful Imperial Threads: Motifs and Artisans from Turkey, Iran and India exhibition, which will be closing on the 27th of January 2018. The exhibition focuses on the artistic and historic influences on carpets, primarily, as well as manuscripts, metalwork, ceramics, and other objects used between the 16th and 19th century at the prime of three key dynasties in Islamic history – the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires.  

The second lecture titled, Arab Arms: From Past to Present, is hosted by Abdullatif Al Nakkas, a Kuwaiti private collector and expert in Arab arms and armour. The lecture will focus on the production of arms and armour in the Arabian world both in the past and the present and will explore the origins of these objects including their designs and unique characteristics.  

The lecture will be held on the 27th of January at 4pm and celebrates MIA’s special exhibition Powder & Damask; Islamic Arms and Armour from the private collection of Fadel Al Mansoori. The exhibition, which began on the 27th August 2017 and will continue until the 12th May 2018, explores the craftsmanship that marked the period between the 17th and 19th century in greater Turkey, Iran and India. Considered as pieces of art in their own right, these objects decorated the palaces of sultans, high-ranking commanders and elite members of society during that period.  

The two lectures come as part of QM’s continuous efforts to promote art education, nurture cultural experiences, and inspire its audiences to become creators themselves. Commenting on the two events, MIA Director Dr. Julia Gonnella, said, “Studying the historical context of art pieces is always fascinating because it gives a glimpse of what life was like when the piece was first created and why the artist was inspired to create it the way he or she did. We hope that these lectures can give our visitors an insight into the stories behind our world-class collections.”  

This year is set to be an exciting year for art enthusiasts in Qatar with multiple exhibitions and art lectures set to take place. To stay up to date with the latest news, please visit:

 Cover photo courtesy of Qatar Museums