Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend in Doha, Qatar - Islamic Museum of Art

Another part of our adventure in Doha included the Islamic Museum of Art, which was within walking distance of our hotel. The museum opened in December of 2008 and was designed by I.M. Pei (the guy who did the pyramid at the Louvre in Paris). It's a stunning building and houses a really nice collection of Islamic art.

The museum is located right along the Corniche, so it's a nice walk with beautiful views and lots of flowers this time of year. On a city tour we took of Doha, we were told that the flowers will last about another month and then die out as the weather gets hotter and hotter. They are in full bloom now and really pretty.

The exhibits were all well marked and organized by time period and geography. Islamic art is all about the intricate design - sometimes of geometric shapes, sometimes of items or designs found in nature. None of the religious art has any people or animals, but the secular stuff does. And, they decorated everything from rugs to fabrics to bowls to water jugs. We saw some elaborately carved water filters! And the designs are really intricate and complex. There was also a good collection of jewelry, which was amazing - huge emeralds and of course, lots of gold.

I didn't take photos of the exhibits, but here are a few of the interior and exterior of the museum.

Admission to the general exhibits of the museum was free. In addition, they had a special exhibit on the Golden Age of Dutch Painting that was less than $10/person, so we went to see that as well. We spent about 2 hours there total and had a really nice time.

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