Art: Qatar’s Arabian Conquest

Art: Qatar’s Arabian Conquest

Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art
Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art
Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art

I. M. Pei’s latest creation, the Museum of Islamic Art (Corniche Rd., Doha; mia.org.qa), will open on November 22 with the aim of putting Qatar on the global cultural map. Pei’s angular, limestone-clad ziggurat-like structure rises dramatically from a man-made island in the Arabian Gulf. But the design takes a backseat to one of the world’s top collections of Islamic art: 700 masterpieces, whose origins range from Spain to India, including a 9th-century Iraqi earthenware bowl, a 10th-century brass astrolabe, and a 17th-century carved emerald amulet from India. The inaugural exhibition, “Beyond Boundaries—Islamic Art Across Cultures,” brings together artifacts from 20 leading institutions throughout the world.

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