The notable Powder and Damask: Islamic Arms and Armour from the Collection of Fadel Al Mansoori exhibition opened at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) recently with members of Qatar Museums’ leadership team and VIP guests attending the opening night.
The exhibition, which runs from 27 August until 12 May 2018, features edged weapons and firearms crafted in Turkey, Iran and India from the 17th to the mid-19th century. The exhibition was curated by Dr Mounia Chekhab Abudaya and Julia Tugwell of MIA, with support from the collector himself, Fadel Al Mansoori.
Al Mansoori, the first Qatari collector to exhibit a private collection at MIA, walked guests through artefacts that represent some of the best examples of craftsmanship from the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires. The objects displayed are excellent examples of the diverse styles and materialsused to decorate weapons during the said periods. Most of the items on display use ivory, horn, gold inlay, semi precious stones and calligraphy.
Dr Mounia Chekhab Abudaya, co-curator of the exhibition, said she was honoured to be entrusted with the care of such an extensive and impressive collection of arms and armour artefacts.
As a curator, it’s also personally gratifying to see the amazing preservation and care that Fadel Al Mansoori dedicated to his collection, which now translates to an outstanding experience for MIA visitors.’
Al Mansoori said he was drawn to the obvious interconnection between distant cultures, especially as his collection grew.
This aspect of art, its ability to transcend cultures, is something that should be treasured and celebrated and I am proud and grateful to have the opportunity to display my collection at such a prestigious venue.’
The exhibition captures Al Mansoori’s passion for arms and armour, which began six years ago and developed into a collection. An avid believer in the careful preservation of history, Al Mansoori has given several lectures at MIA on Islamic weapons in general and on Damascus steel, as well as on his experience in restoration.
A range of educational programmes, workshops, activities and events will be organised alongside the exhibition.
For more information, you can check this link for more details.