Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art won the “Best Emerging Culture Destination” in the Middle East at the 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards held in London this month.
Dubbed as “The Oscars for Museums”, the prestigious awards scheme honours the world’s most visionary arts institutions and emerging cultural hotspots.
Leading Culture Destination Awards ranked Mathaf as the number one “Best Emerging Culture Destination of 2015” on a shortlist that included the Oman National Museum, the Dubai Moving Image Museum and the Dubai Salsali Private Museum.
Winners were judged by a panel of 12 renowned cultural and creative figures from around the world and chaired by Gail Dexter Lord, co-founder of Lord Cultural Resources, a practice dedicated to creating cultural capital worldwide.
“Mathaf is an open stage; our solo and group exhibitions, featuring the greatest artists from the region and connecting them to the global art scenes, explores and celebrates modern and contemporary art,” Mathaf director Abdullah Karroum said.
He noted that their exhibitions and education programmes play an important role as a centre of art production, research and a resource for fostering art and creativity as part of daily life.
The awards programme, now in its second year, is described as “celebrating the vibrancy and vitality of museums and institutions around the world.” It aims to shine a light on the museums that have made the most exceptional contributions to culture in the past year.
Leading Cultural Destinations annually nominates museums by region and across five distinct categories: Exhibitions and Programming; Architecture and Spatial Design; Eat and Drink; Shop; and Digital Experience.
Doha’s iconic Museum of Islamic Art was also shortlisted in the “Architectural and Spatial Design” category.
As Doha’s first museum for modern and contemporary art, Mathaf was founded in 2010 and plays a special role in the cultural life of Qatar.
Presented by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Mathaf houses the largest and most extensive permanent collection of modern and contemporary Arab art in the world with more than 9,000 works in its care, dating from the 19th century to the present day.
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