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Posted On: 16 September 2015 11:59 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:15 pm

MIA opens latest show The Hunt: Princely Pursuits in Islamic Lands in Doha

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Doha, 16 September 2015 – An exciting new exhibition, The Hunt was launched at theMuseum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Doha today, under the patronage of Qatar Museums Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The exhibition will run from 16th September 2015 until 9th January 2016, and entry is free of charge.

On display in the museum’s Special Exhibitions Gallery, MIA’s autumn exhibition focuses on hunting as a royal activity in Islamic lands, a major part of elite life in the Islamic world from earliest times until the present day. It explores and celebrates the sport of hunting, as well as the related activities of polo, feasting and fighting, all of which feature prominently in Islamic art.

Throughout the Islamic world, hunting, rich with symbolism and pageantry, was and in some places continues to be, an essential activity in the lifestyle of princes, sultans and pashas, as it required horsemanship, strength and courage, allowing rulers to demonstrate their skills and assert their authority. As such, images of the hunt in almost every medium are commonly found in Islamic art, whether in lavishly illustrated manuscripts, inlaid metalwork or colourful ceramics.

The wide variety of objects presented in The Hunt exhibition – manuscripts, ceramics, metalwork, textiles, glass, woodwork and hunting tools – dating from the 11th to the 20th centuries, will give audiences the chance to marvel at the lifestyle, power and bravery of royal hunters, opening a window into the lives of princes, sultans and caliphs and exploring how the notion of kingship was expressed throughout the Islamic world.

Frequently commissioned and exhibited for royal display, such artworks form a significant component of collections held by prominent Qatari and international museums.

The Hunt forms part of the Qatar Turkey 2015 Year of Culture, which aims to create sustainable platforms for collaboration and cultural exchange between Qatar and Turkey. As such, a number of key artworks from the Topkapı Palace Museum and the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in Istanbul will be on show as part of the exhibition, highlighting the commonalities between Qatari and Turkish cultures.

Commenting on the exhibition launch, Shaika Al Nassr, Head of Exhibitions at the Museum of Islamic Art, said:

“This fun and absorbing exhibition aims to use hunting as a means of exploring the ‘princely cycle’ and how notions of kingship were formulated, expressed and depicted in the Middle East and beyond.

We hope that the wide variety of objects and artworks on display illustrates this important part of history and society,and appeals to diverse audiences across the community, including children, young people, and families both in Qatar and across the region. The exhibition has strong relevance to regional culture, as seen with falconry, a form of hunting that is still an important part of Qatar’s heritage today.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, there will be a series of public programmes and events aimed at a broad audience for adults, academics, families and schools to enjoy, including lectures by international and local experts, falconry displays, poetry, film, and art workshops.

In addition, MIA is organising workshops for school students, including, A King and His Falcon, which is inspired by The Hunt and allows children to discover the importance and symbolism of the falcon in Islamic Art. In this workshop, students will learn the art and history of falconry while producing watercolour paintings inspired by this regal creature.

On November 29th MIA will also be holding a seminar related to the exhibition, featuring international and local speakers. Please visit the website for more information.

For more information on the exhibition and upcoming activities, please visit: