Orientalist Museum

A fresh take

Qatar's Orientalist Museum is the only institution of its kind. It is dedicated to Orientalism - an influential period in art history, based around Western artists’ first experiences and impressions of the 'oriental' East.

Through the collection of fine and applied arts, objects document the meeting of diverse cultures. This topic resonates with audiences in Qatar, where different nationalities live side-by-side. Exhibitions will fuel conversations that take place far beyond the galleries.


Helping people discover more

The forthcoming museum is committed to creating opportunities for residents to explore Orientalism and associated themes on their own terms. Collaborating with Qatar University, the museum introduced this art movement as part of the university teaching programme for two years. In 2011, museum staff hosted a reception in honour of the first group of students to complete the programme.

The museum team also holds local and international events for professionals. Through these forums it offers a fresh perspective on a period that’s often misunderstood, and helps Qatar take its place in global cultural debate.

The Orientalist Museum provides a rare opportunity to explore the visions and impressions of Orientalist artists and trace the development of this art movement
Dr. Olga Nefedova

Experiencing difference

To involve the widest audience possible ahead of opening, the museum invites visitors to interact with the collection at temporary exhibitions. The Art of Travel, at QM Gallery Al Riwaq, showed how travel can further understanding between religions, nations, cultures and traditions. It illustrated the importance of European and Ottoman relations in the 16th century, focusing on one adventurer’s travel album.

To continue and expand the experience, visitors were asked to reflect on their own travels. They were invited to contribute personal photos on social media channels, with the most ‘liked’ images winning international flights. The museum team also partnered with the National Museum of Danzig to produce a similar exhibition in Gdańsk.

The Public Scribe, 1869, Walter Gould, Orientalist Museum collection
The Public Scribe, 1869, Walter Gould, Orientalist Museum collection

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