Baghdad: Eye’s Delight


Baghdad: Eye’s Delight celebrates the capital of Iraq as one of the most important and influential cities in the Islamic world.

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The exhibition reveals Baghdad’s outstanding heritage as the capital of the great Abbasid caliphs (750-1258 CE), but also of the 20th century when the city once again experienced a renewed period of prosperity with the discovery of oil.

The display takes the visitor on an imaginary tour across centuries, highlighting Baghdad’s role as a city of power, scholarship, and riches.

It also explores the industry and commerce of Baghdad during the Abbasid rule, and the development of the modern industry in the 20th century.

The journey ends with a look at the city’s social fabric, its cosmopolitan population and many traditions, which have – despite war and destruction – enabled the city to thrive, time and time again.

The exhibition features objects on loan from 22 world-renowned institutions, including the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Benaki Museum, the Vatican and the Barjeel Foundation. These include artefacts, photographs and video footage.

Taking place in the newly renovated Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Baghdad: Eye’s Delight is one of several programmes scheduled as part of Qatar-MENASA 2022 Year of Culture.

Related Exhibition

City of Mirage: Baghdad, from Wright to Venturi, 1952-1982

This exhibition is accompanied by a travelling show, titled ‘City of Mirage: Baghdad, from Wright to Venturi, 1952-1982’, which highlights the architectural projects envisioned in the 1950s, and the 1980s, during the reign of King Faisal II and Saddam Hussein’s presidency, respectively. Both these decades carry great historical significance for the architectural history of the city. They mark periods when some of the most influential architects of their respective eras, like Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Robert Venturi and Ricardo Bofill worked in the Iraqi capital. This travelling exhibition is located on the 4th floor of the Museum of Islamic Art.

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