Founded in 2010, Mathaf is situated in a renovated former school building in Education City, established by Qatar Foundation (QF), under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Mathaf is part of Qatar Museums, led by H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Mathaf’s collection, which is co-owned by Qatar Museums and Qatar Foundation, comprises more than 9,000 artworks, making it the world’s largest specialised collection of its kind. An initial group of works was gathered by H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Thani.
The History of Mathaf
In the early 1990s, H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani (see Our Leadership) started building a collection of modern and contemporary art, mainly focusing on the region and its historical and cultural connection from North Africa to Asia and from Turkey and Iran. The first space of Mathaf, situated in two private villas in Madinat Khalifa in Doha, was conceived from the idea of what an Arab Museum of Modern Art might look like, a place for sharing the massive production of art in the region.
The development of the museum has continued as an inspiring space for dialogue and scholarship about modern and contemporary art with artists in residency in Doha, and also as a place for art production and display. Today Mathaf focuses on showing the permanent collection and producing major shows based on new commissions.