Best art galleries and museums in Doha in September 2022

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Quick facts about: The best art galleries and museums in Doha

Qatar is known for its conservative culture, but that hasn’t stopped it from experimenting with even the most controversial works of art. Qatar is a country that loves art. It is, in fact, the biggest buyer of contemporary art in the world. Qatari art is influenced by both heritage and exposure to diverse cultures, ranging from Arabic calligraphy and dot and twist paintings to massive bronze sculptures. The ultimate goal is for Qatar to become the artistic and cultural center of the Middle East.

Qatar’s artistic activity has grown in recent years, thanks to the increase in the number of art spaces in Doha. Unlike Dubai, which has a plethora of independent galleries, Doha offers a number of excellent museums run by the Qatar Museums Authority. The city is fast establishing itself as the art capital of the Middle East, with European and regional art collections larger than those found in many Western art capitals, thanks to the support of a number of art-loving investors. Below is a list of the best art galleries and museums in Qatar.

Here is the list of the best art galleries and museums in Doha

National Museum of Qatar

This long-awaited museum was an instant hit when it opened in March 2019 amidst great excitement. The galleries are both educational and engaging, taking visitors on a journey through Qatar’s history, from prehistory to the bustling metropolis it is today. The building, built by Jean Nouvel and like a quartz desert rose, is located at the start of the Doha Corniche and includes the renovated palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani.

Baroda’s spectacular 10-foot (3-meter) pearl carpet, which is hand-embroidered with 1.5 million pearls, sapphires and diamonds, is a sight not to be missed. The museum is free for Qatari citizens and residents, but visitors must pay 50 Qatari riyals (£10.88) and on weekends it can get very crowded. Visit the eye-catching gift shop, inspired by Dahl Al Misfir (Cave of Light), a glowing cave in central Qatar and one of the country’s best-known natural landmarks.

Al Markhiya Gallery

Al Markhiya Gallery, which opened in 2008, is a contemporary art gallery that focuses on regional artists and showcases the work of young and established painters, sculptors and photographers. From September to June, the gallery hosts a series of rotating exhibitions, each lasting four to six weeks, offering a comprehensive look at Qatar’s contemporary art scene.

Al Markhiya also runs 40 Minus, an effort to identify promising but undiscovered local talent under the age of 40, in another attempt to promote Arab art. Al Markhiya is housed in an arts center in Doha’s Souq Waqif, a huge historic open-air market that sells handicrafts, gastronomic delights and traditional fabrics, as well as other exhibition venues.

Islamic Art Museum

The Museum of Islamic Art (built by the late IM Pei) is a work of art in itself, serving as an impressive centerpiece of Qatar’s cultural offering. The structure is made of limestone and stands on its own island on the Doha Corniche, reflecting sunlight throughout the day. Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India and Central Asia are represented in the museum’s collection, which spans two millennia.

The first and second floors are particularly interesting, with a permanent exhibition displaying intricate textiles, ceramics and glass, as well as a ninth-century Iraqi clay bowl. The museum library, located next to the main building, houses more than 15,000 rare manuscripts and literature from around the world, including a 7th-century Quran. The best time to visit is at sunset, when space, light and location are at their most beautiful.

Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

The Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, or simply the FBQ Museum, houses one of the private art collections of Qatar’s most prominent businessmen. This cultural heritage, located at Al Samriya Farm, has a unique facade made of local stone and classical towers.

Each piece in the gallery preserves Islamic and Qatari practices from the Jurassic era to the present day, spanning over 50 years and four continents. The museum is divided into four themes: Islamic art, vehicles, coins and currency, and Qatari heritage, with 15,000 objects in 15 galleries. Treasures, fossils, rare coins, manuscripts and textiles are among the exhibits.

Public art in Doha

You are sure to witness excellent modern art by a group of local and foreign artists as you stroll through Doha. Damien Hirst (The Miraculous Journey) and Louise Bourgeois are among the many artists who have contributed sculptures to this project, organized by the Public Art Department of Qatar Museums (Maman). El Seed graffiti and Anne Geddes photography are two other outstanding public art works in Doha.

MATHAF – Arab Museum of Modern Art

The main repository of modern and contemporary Arab art in Qatar is MATHAF, the Arab Museum of Modern Art. Unsurprisingly, the first open exhibition held at the museum since its inception in 2010 included a significant number of contemporary Arab artworks. The achievements of Arab artists in painting, sculpture and photography have been the main themes of all subsequent individual and collective exhibitions.

Along with lectures, lectures, and educational programs that promote awareness of Arabic art, MATHAF also has a permanent collection of artwork ranging from the early 1840s to the present day. The MATHAF, located in the Education City district of Doha and housed in a former school, is the best place to discover the latest developments in Arab art.

Katara Arts Center

The Katara Art Center (KAC) is a modern and contemporary art institution and gallery space with over 1,000 square meters of space that showcases a variety of art forms and disciplines and exposes visitors to new and current art. and design. The KAC is a well-known art center that promotes and supports emerging Arab artists who exhibit their work in this gallery. It is located in the famous Katara Cultural Village in Doha.

Fire Station Artist in Residence

The Artist-in-Residence Fire Station, formerly a civil defense building inhabited by Qatar’s firefighters, is now one of Doha’s main artistic landmarks. The Emir of Qatar himself is in favor of this reused adapted space. Avant-garde works and socially relevant performances were exhibited in the museum’s well-lit galleries. There is also a nine-month artist-in-residence program there. Cafe #999, located inside the museum, serves a variety of organic and gluten-free food and beverages. While enjoying serene views of West Bay, try a slice of their famous camel burger.

Msheireb Museums

In the renovated village of Msheireb, in the oldest part of the capital, the museums of Msheireb celebrate the history of Qatar. Developer Msheireb has restored four heritage houses (Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House and Radwani House) and turned them into museums that focus on important people and periods in history and development. from Qatar.

Each house in Msheireb’s museums is built in the traditional Qatari style, with colonnaded courtyards typical of the early 19th century. A restored family home, Radwani House, is the best illustration of this, with rooms arranged around a central open space. The house offers visitors a glimpse into traditional family life in Qatar and the changing norms of domestic life.

Virginia Commonwealth University Gallery in Qatar

The Qatar Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), based in Virginia, USA, is a recognized center for the study and teaching of graphic design, interior design and art history in Qatar. Located in the heart of the education city of Doha, VCU-Q has a gallery space on its campus which is well known in the Qatari art scene for showcasing the works of international artists as well as those of students and scholars. VCU-Q faculty members. The gallery is accessible to the public when there are exhibitions.

The Gallery has already exhibited works of art by renowned creators such as Colombian artist Marianna Heilmann, whose main focus is the repetition of microscopic patterns and shapes, Moroccan photographer Hassan Hajjaj, whose frames are as striking and expressive as the photographs they hold, Egyptian typographic artist Fathi Hassan, who experiments with ancient languages, and others.

Anima Gallery

Each year, the Anima gallery hosts five contemporary exhibitions. Located on a man-made island off the coast of Doha, the gallery exhibits a wide range of artistic genres and media, including painting, sculpture and printmaking. Exhibitions include lectures and lectures for professionals, students and tourists, as well as local, regional and international works of art. Anima offers an online gallery where you can view some of the artwork that will be exhibited on the site. The museum’s Anima Lounge, a contemporary cafe where you can enjoy foreign art and food, is a favorite post-tour spot.

Final Words: Best Art Galleries and Museums in Doha

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Mildred D. Field