With a permanent collection size numbering some two million exhibits spread over 17 departments, New York’s world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most renowned and well-visited cultural institutions on the planet welcoming nearly two million visitors a year. It was founded more than 150 years ago in Manhattan’s Central Park to showcase collections of art from ancient Egypt, Rome, Byzantine and ancient Islamic empires.
In late 2011 the Met first enlarged and renovate its "Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, reopening the galleries 10 years ago. Now to celebrate the 10th anniversary, Qatar Museums has taken the opportunity of the occasion to loan some significant works of art from its own collections to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“The Met is deeply grateful to Qatar Museums for this extraordinary act of generosity,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “This gift is the latest instance of the longstanding relationship between our institutions and marks the start of a broad collaboration…”
In return for this cultural support the Met has honoured Qatar by naming a gallery exhibiting the Umayyad and Abbasid Periods (7th to 13th centuries) as the “Qatar Gallery” as part of this collaboration between the two museums.
In addition, the exchange also means that the two institutions will collaborate on more than just artworks with additional programs of scholarly cooperation. Finally, to mark the special occasion of the newly renovated and reopened Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, The Met is also loaning works from its collection for an exhibition starting October 26 entitled “Baghdad: Eyes Delight”.
Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, said, “The establishment of the Qatar Gallery at The Met highlights the collegiality between our institutions and our desire to advance a crucial goal we hold in common, of heightening appreciation everywhere for the art of the Islamic world. We are proud to come together with The Met to honour the beauty, depth, and variety of a global tradition that spans fourteen centuries.”