As part of the project, more than 1,000 objects – many newly conserved or acquired – are now displayed in the museum’s permanent galleries for the first time, alongside the masterpieces for which MIA has long been recognised.
Welcome to the Reimagined MIA
The museum is now open following a facilities enhancement project and the reimagination and reinstallation of its permanent collection galleries.
The reimagining of the collection galleries introduces a comprehensive visitor trail, creates expanded interpretive materials to help contextualise the masterworks and provides new mobile and child-friendly resources to make the museum more accessible for families and younger guests.
The galleries are organised according to broad historical and cultural themes, periods and geography, and explore the great traditions of Islamic craftsmanship. MIA has also introduced a new section on Islam in Southeast Asia, focusing on the connection between different cultures through exhibits on the trade of commodities and the exchange of ideas across the Islamic world and beyond.
The newly created 'Family Trail' is a key component of the gallery refurbishment to engage young visitors on topics that relate to their own lives and experiences. Utilising new technologies, interactive displays and multi-sensory applications further engage visitors of all ages throughout the museum.
Adding to the visitor experience, and complementing the many incredible artefacts and artworks on display, guests will encounter images and films of different architecture and sites from the Middle East, listen to the Holy Qurʾan and Arabic and Persian poetry, as well as music from al-Andalus; they can learn about the different fragrances of herbs and spices that travelled long distances across the Islamic world; and will get a sense of the different materials and decorations used in the arts over time.
“ This enhancement will benefit generations of visitors, providing an even more meaningful experience and allowing guests to explore the rich vast history of the Islamic World as told through our unparalleled collection. ”
The enhanced and expanded experience allows the museum to welcome a larger audience, with a reframed entrance and upgraded cafés and retail locations. All improvements to the building are in keeping with I.M. Pei’s vision. Throughout the reinstallation process, MIA once again collaborated with Wilmotte & Associés, the French interior design and architecture firm first retained by I.M. Pei.
To celebrate MIA’s reopening, Qatar Museums and Thames & Hudson have co-published a beautifully illustrated 500+ page catalogue dedicated to the history and collection of the Museum of Islamic Art.
Reimagining MIA: Inside and Out
Education at MIA: Checking In and Looking Ahead
As part of introducing a more welcoming family friendly experience, MIA showcased 3 main objects from the permanent collection namely the Doha Hind, the Blue Monkey and the Falcon Finial. The Hind talked about the past and triggered memorable moments. The Monkey lived in the present, collecting and sharing updates going around all corners of the museum so our followers never really lost touch with us. The Falcon flew ahead into the future, giving out general information and a bird’s eye view of what is to come. These characters took over our social media activities focusing on the past, present and future respectively. They were spotted on a public Mowasalat bus running through the Doha Corniche, inviting people to MIA for the reopening and are now also seen on our museum tickets. You can purchase them in various models from our gift shop. Follow their journey on our Instagram page.
More About the Project
Behind the Scenes: An Introduction to Conservation
Behind the Scenes: Conserving Metals and Jewellery
Behind the Scenes: Conserving Wood and Stone
Behind the Scenes: Conserving Books, Paper and Manuscripts
Behind the Scenes: Conserving Glass and Ceramics
Behind the Scenes: Conserving Textiles