This November, Qatar Museums unveils a number of dynamic and exciting exhibitions and events are coming to venues across Doha in a celebration of art, creativity and heritage.

Presented by Qatar Museums under the visionary guidance of its Chairperson, HE Shaikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the autumn programme presents a valuable bridge between cultures, honouring the traditions of the past while embracing the future by nurturing emerging artistic talent here in Qatar. Here are a few of the programme highlights:

New permanent collection opening at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Mathaf Collection, Summary, Part 1, which just opened on Saturday 1 November 2014, will see Mathaf dedicate the whole of the first floor of the museum to a new display of its permanent collection. The exhibition presents over 100 artists from the museum’s collection of more than 8,000 works, that continues to grow with new acquisitions and commissions from Mathaf exhibitions.

The exhibition includes work from Qatar and the Arab world, Iran, Turkey and other regions historically connected to the Arab Peninsula, reflecting a multitude of artistic directions and contexts. This exhibition also contributes to developing research into the collection and its interconnections with contemporary cultures that is also present online in the Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World, developed by Mathaf.

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is located at Education City.

Shirin Neshat visits Doha

Just one week later, opening on Sunday 9th November and running until Sunday 15th February, 2015, Mathaf will present Afterwards, the first solo exhibition in the Middle East by the internationally acclaimed Iranian artist Shirin Neshat.

This major show introduces a group of new and existing produced works as well as the photographic series, The Book of Kings (2011); Our House is on Fire (2013) as well as the video installation, Turbulent (1998) that comment on historical, cultural and political realities on which the artist has focused on for the past 30 years. As viewers move through the galleries, the confrontation with the subjects portrayed becomes inevitable and provokes an emotional tension that places them closer to the artist’s perspective when she took the photographs.

On the same day, Shirin will be joining Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf for a public discussion about her exhibition at CIMAM 2014 Annual conference, the most important forum for communication, co-operation and information exchange between museums, professionals, visual arts workers and artists within modern and contemporary art practice. Join her at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art at Qatar Foundation on 9th November to hear about the exhibition in her own words from 3:30pm.

Henna Night at Souq Waqif Arts Center

To celebrate the opening of Shirin Neshat’s Afterwards exhibition, a special, one-off Henna night is being held on Friday 7th November between 5:00pm and 9:00pm at the Souq Waqif Arts Centre. Visitors and passersby will be treated to a number of unique henna designs to choose from, drawn by professional Henna artists and inspired by select pieces of Shirin’s art. The evening is completely free and visitors can experience Shirin’s work though this beautiful form of body art whilst experiencing traditional Qatari culture in the heart of the Souq.

Yousef Ahmad exhibition

Don’t miss the exhibition Yousef Ahmad: Story of ingenuity, coming to the Qatar Museums Gallery in Katara on Tuesday 11th November and running until Saturday 14th February 2015. As a pioneer of Qatar’s modern art movement, Yousef Ahmad’s artistic journey has spanned over three decades, and his work has been influenced by his surroundings and emotional ties with Qatar’s culture and traditions. This exhibition highlights the Qatari artists’ body of work through a precise selection of his most striking artworks from his early works in 1970s until today. It showcases three phases in Yousef Ahmad’s artistic career, from the early oil paintings that include the historic depiction of Al Zubarah Fort, to his mixed media calligraphic pieces to his new conceptual artworks presenting his ability in developing an innovative artistic style.

The Yousef Ahmad exhibition is located at the QM Gallery, Building 10, Katara

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Exhibitions at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA):

Finally, be sure not to miss two must see exhibitions at MIA this month:

Building Our Collection: Mughal and Safavid Albums

Date: 17 September 2014 – 21 February 2015

Location: 4th floor Temporary Exhibition Gallery

Showcasing the museum’s collection of miniatures and calligraphy, this exhibition reveals the journey of artistic refinement from the Middle East to Asia and Europe across the centuries. It allows visitors to understand the significance of Islamic art collecting and how this part of MIA’s collection was formed.

The Tiger’s Dream: Tipu Sultan

Date: 29 September 2014 – 24 January 2015

Location: 1st floor Special Exhibitions Gallery

Drawn entirely from the MIA collection, this exhibition delves into the life and times of Tipu Sultan, the South Indian ruler, statesman, and patron. Featuring a selection of objects that reflect Tipu’s image as the ‘Tiger of Mysore,’ the main highlight of the exhibition is a rare display of 24 paintings showing Tipu’s victory at the Battle of Pollilur in 1780.


Under the patronage of HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and led by its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums is consolidating Qatar’s efforts to become a vibrant center for the arts, culture and education, in the Middle East and beyond. Since its foundation in 2005, QM has overseen the development of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, and the Al Zubarah World Heritage Site Visitor Centre. The QM also manages the QM Gallery at Katara and the ALRIWAQ DOHA Exhibition Space. Future projects include the opening of the Fire Station: Artists in Residence in 2014 and the launch of the highly anticipated National Museum of Qatar and the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum.