News

Statement: Mughals and Maharajas, June 2019

24 April 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.

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

7 May 2019

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 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.

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Press conference at Hôtel de la Marine

9 April 2019

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

Celebrating an addition to the collections of the Musée Guimet

5 April 2019

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.

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