The Museum of Islamic Art is one of the vintage sites present in Qatar. It was mapped out by the Pritzker prize-winning architect I.M. Pei. The museum houses a diverse collection of Islamic art and culture, representing a comprehensive outlook of the rich Islamic heritage. Also known as MIA, the museum of Islamic art is a remarkable addition to the major art institutions all over the world, adding to the treasures of the Doha terrain.
The museum welcomes communities from every part of the world to come and engage through exciting events, workshops, and exhibitions. The building features Islamic artifacts from over fourteen centuries, including religious relics and objects found from every era across the Islamic timeline. Each piece has its own significance, which opens the door to the intriguing story behind it.
History of the Islamic Art:
As the umbrella of the Islamic religion canopied certain parts of the world, the architectural styles of the Islamic structures continued to develop. Islamic architecture is influenced by various civilizations including the Byzantine, Mesopotamian, Persian, Roman, and Mughal empires. These Islamic edifices are associated with the religion and consist of distinct characteristics and ornaments, including the well-known calligraphies and patterns.
The exquisite museum of Islamic art is also one of the various examples of Islamic architectural excellence. It was inaugurated on the 22nd of November, in 2008, by the emir of Qatar at that time, Sheikh Hamad.
The museum was made to engage all kinds of audiences from around the world. The visitors can enjoy exhibitions, gallery tours, and other special activities as well. Exciting art workshops are usually arranged to fascinate both children and adults.
Locus of the Museum of Islamic Art:
This iconic attraction of Qatar is located on the end of the four-mile-long Corniche, present at the southern end of the capital city Doha. It is built on an artificially designed peninsula near the dhow harbor. A park surrounds the magnificent complex on the southern and eastern fronts with two bridges linking the southern facade with the main peninsula.
The Architecture of the Museum of Islamic Art:
Stretched on the crystal waters of the Corniche, the museum of Islamic art boasts a spellbinding cream-colored limestone architecture, which exhibits different shades during different times of the day.
The main building of the museum is made up of five floors and also includes a forty-five-meter tall glass facade that allows the visitors to have a bird’s-eye view of the Persian Gulf. The interior of the museum is absorbing. It is decorated with a variety of textures like stone and wood and displays numerous principle geometric patterns of Islamic architecture that create an inimitable cultural show for the audience. There is a curved double staircase in the center of its atrium that leads to the first floor with an ornate chandelier hanging from the stainless steel ceiling, which captures the patterns of light.
The grand interior, designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, maintains a blend of various elements of ancient middle-east architecture. These include ceramics, ivory, textiles, Arabic calligraphy, jewelry, patterns, etc. The architecture of the museum is influenced by various excellent Islamic structures; Mosque Ibn Tulun of Cairo is one of the most prominent ones.
Collection of Arts and Crafts:
The Museum of Islamic Art is home to various pieces of art from over fourteen hundred years. They include manuscripts, metalwork, woodwork, and jewelry gathered from different continents of the world. The artifacts were brought from many countries falling in the Middle East, such as Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Spain, India, and Central Asia. The museum also has important Quranic manuscripts, which illustrates the Islamic essence of the museum.
A few of the many alluring artifacts placed in the museum are as follows:
Cultural Activities and Exhibitions:
Apart from the dazzling pieces of arts and crafts present in the institution, the Islamic Art Museum provides several other activities as well. These include the cultural events that take place in MIA Park. The park is a social hub that hosts year-round events, including educational trips, movie screenings, art workshops, exhibition features, and sports events.
The school trips are arranged directly under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. Teachers can choose the venue and themes of tours and workshops that are set up for the students. Other school activities include art competitions, gallery trips, and storytelling. There are certain events for the senior students, such as the camps or sleepovers, where the students are required to study a particular feature of the museum and present their findings.
You can also enjoy the mouth-watering local cuisines from the cafes or restaurants with unique ornamentation and sophisticated atmosphere. You can also appreciate the arresting views of the city below from the top floor of the museum. There is a gift shop, as well, for the tourists to buy themselves souvenirs to make this visit memorable.