News

12 September 2019

TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM TO HOST EXHIBITION OF MASTERPIECES FROM THE AL THANI COLLECTION

The Tokyo National Museum will host an exhibition of masterpieces from The Al Thani Collection from 6 November 2019 to 9 February 2020. 'Man, God & Nature in the Ancient World: Masterpieces from The Al Thani Collection’ will feature 117 works of art created by a rich diversity of cultures spanning over three thousand years. United by the themes of Man, God and Nature, it explores the way in which people of the ancient world addressed and interpreted the forces around them. Highlights range from a Kiliya 'stargazer' idol carved from marble circa 3000 BC and an Egyptian royal head carved from jasper circa 1450 BC, to a ceremonial Mayan mask and Sasanian silver from the first centuries of the Christian era.

More details of the exhibition can be found here

9 August 2019

THE AL THANI COLLECTION FOUNDATION APPOINTS ATELIER TSUYOSHI TANE ARCHITECTS
TO DESIGN THEIR MUSEUM SPACE AT HÔTEL DE LA MARINE

The Al Thani Collection Foundation has appointed Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects to design the spaces dedicated to its collection at the Hôtel de la Marine. Opening in Spring 2020, these spaces will provide for the long-term display of works from the Collection, and will host a dynamic programme of exhibitions, conferences and educational activities.


ATTA is based in Paris with an international team of over 30 architects, designers and creators, led by founding architect Tsuyoshi Tane. Through a series of award-winning projects and buildings such as Estonian National Museum, Kofun Stadium for the Japanese Olympics 2020, Todoroki House in Valley and many others, Tsuyoshi has become recognised in a new generation of emerging architects. He believes architecture belongs to a memory of place and can carry the past into the future; it is his concept - "Archaeology of the Future". Tsuyoshi has received numerous awards and honours including the French Ministry of Culture Architecture Prize (NAJAP), the French Architects Overseas (AFEX) Grand Prix in 2016, Estonian Cultural Endowment Grand Prix, nomination for the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2017 and the 67th Japanese Ministry of Education for Fine Arts New Face Award.

See more here

17 July 2019

THE AL THANI COLLECTION FOUNDATION LOANS FIVE IMPORTANT PIECES TO
THE DUNHUANG ACADEMY, CHINA

The Al Thani Collection Foundation is pleased to have loaned five works to 'Culture Exchange Along the Silk Road: Masterpieces of the Tubo Period' which opened last week at the Dunhuang Academy in China. This is the research institute which oversees the Mogao Caves, one of China’s most renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Organised jointly by the Dunhuang Academy and the Pritzker Art Collaborative, the exhibition explores the Tibetan Tubo Kingdom (7th to 9th century AD) which united the peoples of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. By the latter half of the 9th century, having caused the Chinese Tang Empire to withdraw eastwards, the Tubo had developed a huge network of trade routes connecting with the rest of China, South Asia and Central Asia. The exhibition includes approximately 120 objects, many of which are on loan from the Pritzker Art Collaborative, with further loans from the Abegg Foundation in Switzerland, the National Museum of China, the Palace Museum in Beijing, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Hirayama Ikuo Silk Road Museum in Japan, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition continues until 22 October 2019.

The pieces on loan from The Al Thani Collection are a Sasanian rhyton in silver and gold and modelled in the shape of a saiga antelope (5th to 7th century AD), a Sasanian silver and gold plate showing a royal hunting scene (6th to 7th century AD) and a Sogdian service consisting of a ewer, plate and wine vessel, made from gold and inset with turquoise (7th century AD).

See more here.

To take a virtual tour of the exhibition, click here.

15 July 2019

THE AL THANI COLLECTION FOUNDATION DONATES AN IMPORTANT
19th CENTURY VASE TO THE V&A

The Al Thani Collection Foundation has recently donated an important 19th century enamelled vase to the V&A, London. Made by Christofle et Cie., Paris, 1873-78, with enamelled plaques designed by Emile Rieber, circa 1872, the vase becomes the most spectacular enamelled piece in the collection by the celebrated French maker.

The company was founded in 1845 by Charles Christofle (1805-1863), silversmith to Napoleon III. This is one of three known vases made to a model first shown at the Vienna Weltausstellung (World’s Fair) in 1873. It was bought by the civil engineer, George Janin, probably in Paris in 1878. He later emigrated to Canada and designed the sewerage system in Montreal. Two other versions of the vase are known, one in the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City and the other in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. The original drawing for the enamelled plaques, dated ‘Mai 1872’, as well as a period photograph of an example fitted as an oil lamp, is in the collection of the Musée Bouilhet-Christofle. With its mix of international design influences including the Japanese-inspired enamel plaques, and made using the new industrial technique of electroforming, the vase was the very model of modernity.

The vase can be seen in gallery 67, The Whiteley Silver Galleries, at the V&A, South Kensington, London and has been earmarked for inclusion in the museum’s planned 19th-Century International Galleries. More details of its history can be found here.

7 June 2019

'MODERN MAHARAJAH: AN INDIAN PRINCE OF THE 1930s' AT THE
MUSÉE DES ARTS DECORATIFS, PARIS

The Al Thani Collection Foundation is pleased to support 'Moderne Maharajah: Un prince indien des années 1930 / Modern Maharajah: An Indian prince of the 1930s’ which will be shown at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from 26 September 2019 until 12 January 2020. This exhibition honours Yeshwant Rao Holkar II (1908-1961), the Maharajah of Indore, a visionary collector and tastemaker of the 1920s and 1930s who built the first modernist construction in India: the palace of Manik Bagh (1930-1933). Designed by the German architect Eckart Muthesius, it was entirely furnished with works by key figures of the European inter-war avant-garde. Highlighting this mythical home, and evoking the cultural exchanges between Europe and India brought about by the young prince and his wife, this exhibition will bring together for the first time more than 500 objects and works of art revealing iconic creations by Louis Sognot and Charlotte Alix, Jean Puiforcat, Eileen Gray and Le Corbusier, together with unpublished archive material including photographs, paintings, correspondences and drawings.

Further details of the exhibition have now been announced and can be found here.

1 June 2019

THE AL THANI COLLECTION FOUNDATION LOANS TWO IMPORTANT PIECES TO ‘BEYOND BOUNDARIES: CARTIER AND THE PALACE MUSEUM’

The Al Thani Collection Foundation is pleased to have loaned two important pieces from the collection to the exhibition 'Beyond Boundaries: Cartier and the Palace Museum’ which is on view at the Palace Museum in Beijing from 1 June to 31 July 2019. This exhibition highlights the relationship between Cartier and the Palace Museum over the past 30 years and shows 830 pieces from their collections, together with a selection of important loans.

The loans from The Al Thani Collection include an historic Cartier tiara created in 1909 for Lady Lilian Beit (1873-1946), wife of Sir Otto Beit (1865-1930), a financier and philanthropist who made a fortune in South Africa in the diamond industry; and an important Diadème Soleil made by Cartier circa 1907.

More details of the exhibition can be found here.

7 May 2019

AN IMPORTANT 18TH-CENTURY COMMODE BY JEAN-HENRI RIESENER RETURNS TO HÔTEL DE LA MARINE

On 7 May, the Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN) announced the acquisition of an important commode by Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806). Originally commissioned in 1774 for the Hôtel du Garde-Meuble, now known as the Hôtel de la Marine, the commode is being donated by The Al Thani Collection Foundation. It will be on public view at the Hôtel de la Marine from its opening in spring 2020 as part of the refurnishing of the apartments of the intendent of the Garde-Meuble.

The commode was ordered in 1774, the year that Riesener was appointed cabinet-maker to the king, and was delivered in 1775 to the apartment of Madame Randon de Pommery, wife of the Garde-Général of the Garde Meuble de la Couronne. It is an important prototype for a celebrated series of Royal commodes which were subsequently delivered to the French Royal family. In 1795, following the French Revolution, it was sold at an auction of the contents of the Hôtel du Garde Meuble. It will return to France having appeared at auction in New York on 30 April 2019 where it was offered from a private collection.

This commode will join a drop-front secrétaire, also made by Jean-Henri Riesener in 1771, which was recently acquired for the Hôtel de la Marine by the CMN with the support of the French ministry of Culture. The CMN is also discussing loans with a number of institutions in an effort to return other original furnishings to the halls of the Hôtel de la Marine.

The Al Thani Collection Foundation will open a museum space at the Hôtel de la Marine in spring 2020.

Read more here.

24 April 2019

Statement: Mughals and Maharajas, June 2019

From next year, works from The Al Thani Collection will be shown at a new museum space opening at Hôtel de la Marine, Paris. Here the Foundation will host a dynamic programme of exhibitions, conferences and educational activities. Ahead of this move, it has been decided to offer a group of Indian gems and jewels at auction. Over recent years these pieces have been widely shown and shared. While a representative group of Indian pieces will be retained, the galleries in Paris will showcase a wider range of works of art from across the Collection, which extends to more than 6,000 objects that honour artistic achievement across cultures. Part of the sale proceeds will support ongoing initiatives of The Al Thani Collection Foundation which extend from exhibitions, publications and lectures to sponsorships of projects at museums around the world.

9 April 2019

Press conference at Hôtel de la Marine

We were pleased to attend a press conference held at Hôtel de la Marine, Paris, on 9 April, alongside a number of other partners in involved in this exciting project. The Hôtel de la Marine is one of two palaces commissioned by Louis XV in the 18th century to adorn the royal square. Designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, First Architect of the King, it was built between 1757 and 1774 and originally served as the Garde-meuble de la Couronne, the repository for the French Royal Collections. It was subsequently used by the Navy who vacated the building in 2015, at which point it was taken on by the Centres des Monuments Nationaux (CMN) which has since overseen an ambitious restoration plan.

The Al Thani Collection Foundation is proud to be a part of this project and excited to be opening a museum space at the Hôtel de la Marine next year, providing for the long-term display of works drawn from across the entire Collection. The galleries will host a permanent exhibition alongside a programme of themed shows, and will also host educational initiatives including lectures and symposia. Visit: http://www.hotel-de-la-marine.paris

5 April 2019

Celebrating an addition to the collections of the Musée Guimet

On the evening of 4 April, the Musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet hosted an event to celebrate a new addition to their collections: an exceptionally rare door from Southern India, probably Mysore, dating from the 18th or early 19th century and decorated with extraordinary carved ivory panels showing gallant scenes. The door was recently donated to the museum by The Al Thani Collection Foundation. The evening included a lecture by professor Ebba Koch of the University of Vienna, the renowned scholar of Mughal art and architecture. Her lecture was titled ’The Taj Mahal, Orpheus, the Mughals and the Medici’, in which she discussed artistic and architectural influences which can be seen through important commissions in both India and throughout Europe from the 16th to the 18th centuries.