Hôtel de la Marine, Paris
Treasures from The Al Thani Collection
The Al Thani Collection’s inaugural exhibition at the Hôtel de la Marine will showcase a rich diversity of artworks representing numerous civilisations and spanning more than 5,000 years. Celebrating the unifying force of art across cultures, highlights range from an Egyptian head of a royal figure carved from red jasper (1475–1292 BC) and a Chinese gilt-bronze sculpture of a seated bear (Han Dynasty, 206 BC–AD 25) to a Maya mask pendant (200–600 AD) and the jade wine cup of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (1569–1627).
State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
14 February – 20 September 2020
The Treasure of a Persian Princess: A Chinese Porcelain Dish from The Al Thani Collection
This exhibition explored the profound influence of Chinese porcelain on the art and ceramics of the Islamic world in the early modern period. The central focus of the exhibition was the Mahin Banu Dish, a masterpiece of Chinese ceramic art from The Al Thani Collection that was acquired by a Persian princess in the 16th century and was subsequently owned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan; it was shown alongside a selection of Chinese and Islamic objects from the Hermitage collections that are closely related in style and age. The exhibition curator was Dr Lidia Potochkina of the State Hermitage Museum.
Tokyo National Museum
6 November 2019 – 9 February 2020
Man, God and Nature in the Ancient World: Masterpieces from The Al Thani Collection
This exhibition included 117 ancient 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 explored the way in which people of the ancient world addressed and interpreted the forces around them. Highlights ranged from a Kiliya 'stargazer' idol carved from marble c. 3000 BC and an Egyptian royal head carved from jasper c. 1450 BC, to a ceremonial Mayan mask and Sasanian silver from the first centuries of the Christian era. The curators of the exhibition were Mr Atsushi Imai and Mr Takuzo Onozuka of Tokyo National Museum, and Dr Amin Jaffer, Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection.
Legion of Honor, San Franscisco
3 November 2018 – 24 February 2019
East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from The Al Thani Collection
This exhibition explored the cultural and material exchanges between India and Europe through jewellery and precious objects ranging from the 17th century to the present. It featured more than 150 pieces from The Al Thani Collection, all associated with Mughal emperors, maharajas, and their courts. Highlights included famous gemstones such as the Idol’s Eye (a 70.2-carat diamond and the largest blue diamond in the world), the Arcot II diamond (formerly belonging to the British Crown Jewels) and other treasures such as a jade dagger owned by Emperor Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal. The curators of the exhibition were Martin Chapman of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Dr Amin Jaffer, Senior Curator of the Al Thani Collection.
State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
16 October 2018 – 20 January 2019
At the Dawn of Islamic Art: A Dish from The Al Thani Collection
The exhibition was centred around a unique bronze dish from The Al Thani Collection that shows the pre-Islamic art of Egypt as well as the geometric layout of trays seen in the first centuries of Islam, and is thought to be among the first works of art produced for a Muslim court. It was shown alongside a selection of closely related bronze objects from the Hermitage collections. The exhibition was curated by Dr Anton Pritula of the State Hermitage Museum.
Château de Fontainebleau, France
8 September – 8 October 2018
Kings of the World: Expressions of Royal Power and the Arts among Masterpieces of The Al Thani Collection
Featuring approximately sixty objects from the collection, this exhibition used ancient sculpture, metalwork, coins, miniature paintings, weapons and jewellery to explore the image of the king and royal power throughout the ages and civilisations, from Sumerian royalty (around 2000 BC) to 19th-century European monarchies, via Pharaonic Egypt, the ancient Near East, Ottoman sultans and Mughal emperors. The exhibition was curated by Vincent Droguet, General Curator, Director of Heritage and Collections at the Château de Fontainebleau.
Palace Museum, Beijing
17 April – 18 June 2018
Treasures from The Al Thani Collection: Gems and Jewels of India and Masterpieces from a Royal Collection
This exhibition gave the Chinese public the first-ever opportunity to admire 270 jewels and gems as well as 290 rare and precious objects from The Al Thani Collection. The show of Gems and Jewels of India took visitors on an a spectacular trip through five centuries of remarkably refined artistic taste and perfected technique, represented by historic Indian diamonds and legendary jewels. Masterpieces from a Royal Collection included important works of art dating from antiquity to the present day, and representing cultures from all around the world; highlights ranged from Greek, Roman, Chinese and Pre-Colombian artefacts to a group of fifty-four important pieces by Fabergé. The exhibition was curated by Dr Amin Jaffer, Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection.
Doge’s Palace, Venice
9 September 2017 – 3 January 2018
Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajas: The Al Thani Collection
The exhibition presented a rare journey into the world of Indian jewellery, characterised by dazzling gems and jewels dating from the time of the Mughal empire to the present day. Promoted by Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and presented against a stunning and ethereal backdrop, Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajas gave the Italian public the first-ever opportunity to admire 275 pieces assembled from The Al Thani Collection. The exhibition was curated by Dr Amin Jaffer, Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection, and Giancarlo Calza.
Grand Palais, Paris
29 March – 5 June 2017
From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from The Al Thani Collection
The Grand Palais exhibition enabled visitors to immerse themselves in the jewellery traditions of the Indian subcontinent, from the Mughal period to the modern day, all displayed in an evocative and ethereal setting. The evolution of gem setting and jewellery was shown through 250 exceptional pieces from The Al Thani Collection, together with major works on loan from prestigious institutions and private collections. Famous historic Indian diamonds, spectacular precious objects and legendary pieces of jewellery were brought together to represent the evolution of taste and technique in India’s jewelled arts over five centuries. The exhibition was curated by Dr Amin Jaffer, Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection, and Amina Okada, Senior Curator of the the Musée Guimet.
Miho Museum Koka, Japan
1 October – 11 December 2016
Jewels of the Mughal Emperors and Maharajas: Treasures from The Al Thani Collection
The exhibition featured more than 175 pieces including the world’s largest cut blue diamond, the Idol’s Eye, and other select Indian jewels from The Al Thani Collection. It explored the history and design of Indian gems from the 16th to 21st centuries. In addition to masterpieces exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2014–15) and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2015–16), some Indian treasures from the Collection were shown in Japan for the first time. The exhibition was curated by Yoko Azuma of the Miho Museum.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
21 November 2015–10 April 2016
Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection
This exhibition showcased over one hundred jewels, jewelled artefacts and jades from The Al Thani Collection, alongside three prestigious loans from the Royal Collection. The pieces ranged in date from the early 17th century to the present day and were made in the Indian subcontinent or inspired by India. They included spectacular precious stones and jades made for Mughal emperors, highlighting the exceptional skills of goldsmiths within the Indian subcontinent. The more recent pieces also demonstrated that cross-cultural exchanges continue to inspire contemporary jewellery design in India and Europe. The exhibition was curated by Susan Stronge, Senior Curator of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
28 October 2014 – 25 January 2015
Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al Thani Collection
Some sixty jewelled objects provided a glimpse into the evolving styles of the jewelled arts in India from the Mughal period until the early 20th century, with an emphasis on later exchanges with the West. The exhibition was shown within The Metropolitan Museum’s Islamic art galleries, adjacent to the museum’s own collection of Mughal-period art. The exhibition was curated by Navina Haidar of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.