The Museum of Islamic Art turns five years old this month, and it’s marking the milestone with a redesigned logo and a series of special events.
The I.M Pei-designed facility – which has become one of Qatar’s most well-known and celebrated buildings – received its one millionth visitor in February of this year.
The museum’s collection incorporates a huge range of Islamic art from three continents, including manuscripts, glasswork and textiles, spanning from the 7th to 20th centuries.
Its current special exhibition, Hajj: The Journey Through Art, has been well-received, escaping the media glare levied at fellow Qatar Museums Authority exhibitions, including Damien Hirst’s Relics at Al Riwaq, and Adel Abdessemed’s L’âge d’or at Mathaf.
Not ‘just a museum’
Its director, Aisha Al Khater, argues that since its opening in 2008, the MIA has extended its reach and remit, becoming more than simply a collection of artifacts. In a statement, she said:
“We are bringing MIA spaces to life with events and expanding the exhibition experience to include workshops for kids and adults, lectures and behind the scenes tours.
We aren’t just a museum; we are a center of knowledge and inspiration, a place for local community and an icon of the diversity and depth of our culture.”
QMA Chairperson Sheikha Al Mayassa bin Hamad Al Thani added that the museum has grown to become an important location for cross-cultural discussion:
“Five years ago MIA came to fruition under the wise leadership of HH the Father Emir. Today it’s a beacon of light- shedding understanding and dialogue- between east and west, Muslim and non-Muslim.”
The museum is using this anniversary to launch a redesign of its logo, which the MIA says is “centered on the six pens of traditional Arabic calligraphy,” adding that it has a “lively color palette that reflects the diversity of Islamic civilizations past and present, and cubic shapes to represent Islamic architectural traditions and the museum building itself.”
Special events are being held today to mark the museum’s anniversary. These include behind-the-scenes tours, lessons teaching conservation, and everyone’s birthday necessity – a cake.
— MuseumofIslamicArt (@MIAQatar) December 1, 2013