Aga Khan Museum
|Aga Khan Museum|
|Established||18 September 2014|
|Location||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Type||Muslim arts and culture|
The Aga Khan Museum is dedicated to the preservation of Islamic arts and culture. It is to be situated in Toronto, Canada at Eglinton Avenue and Don Mills Road and will be open to the public on September 18, 2014. The museum is an initiative of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network. It will house collections of Islamic art and heritage, including artefacts from the private collections of His Highness the Aga Khan, the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, and Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan, which showcase the artistic, intellectual and scientific contributions that Mulsim Civilisations have made to world heritage.
In 2007, the modernist Bata Shoes Head Office was demolished to make way for the museum. The foundation ceremony of the Aga Khan Museum, together with the adjacent Ismaili Centre, Toronto and the park in which the two will be situated, was performed by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Aga Khan on May 28, 2010. The establishment of the three projects had previously been announced on October 8, 2002 by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Situated along Wynford Drive adjacent to the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto, the Museum is expected to open in 2014.
Architecturally, the museum is expected to be of international caliber, a design of Pritzker Prize winner Fumihiko Maki. The 10,000 square-metre structure will be set within formal gardens and surrounded by a large park designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic. The extensive site with be shared with a new Ismaili Centre designed by the famous Indian architect Charles Correa.
The museum will be dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, display and interpretation of artefacts relating to the intellectual, cultural, artistic and religious traditions of Muslim communities, past and present. Artefacts will include ceramics, metalwork, and paintings covering all periods of Islamic history. Manuscripts in the collection will include the earliest known copy of Avicenna’s Qanun fi’l-Tibb (The Canon of Medicine) dated 1052. A music programme is planned, which will work to expand knowledge of the traditional music of Asia and the Islamic world, as well as their contemporary expression.
The museum will become a repository of historical materials related to the Ismaili community and house research programmes related to each one of the aspects of its institutional mission. It will also provide a space for permanent exchanges between the Islamic and the Western worlds on educational, cultural and socioeconomic issues.
The collection, which comprises some 1,000 pieces, includes several superb examples of Qur'an manuscripts that demonstrate the variety of script, media and decorative styles that evolved in the Muslim world. Among them, an eighth century North African folio demonstrates the earliest style of kufic script written on parchment. A page from the well known Blue Qur'an provides an example of gold kufic script on indigo-dyed parchment. The Blue Qur'an is considered one of the most extraordinary Qur'an manuscripts ever created; its origins are 9th-tenth century North African, and it was likely created for the Fatimid imam-caliphs ruling from Qayrawan.
While a permanent home was being built for the collection, selected items went on tour in Europe. Exhibitions took place at the following institutions:
- March 31, 2007 - June 3, 2007
- July 14, 2007 - August 31, 2007
- October 5, 2007 - January 7, 2008
- March 14, 2008 - July 27, 2008
- opened June 4, 2009
- October 9, 2009 - January 17, 2010
- March 17, 2010 - June 6, 2010
- November 5, 2010 - March 13, 2011
- December 8, 2011 - February end, 2012
The exhibits have received wide international acclaim. The exhibit conveys both Dīn and Dunya, which can be translated as ‘Spirit & Life’ — the religious and secular aspects of life which are inextricably linked in Muslim cultures. The first exhibitions were organized in two parts: The Word of God consisting of sacred texts and related objects and The Power of the Sovereign reflecting Muslim courts and their figures. More recent exhibitions have been organized as The Word of God and The Route of the Travellers showing the geographic breadth of the Islamic world.
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- "Mawlana Hazar Imam is awarded Honorary Canadian Citizenship as he is joined by Prime Minister for Foundation Ceremony in Toronto". TheIsmaili.org. 28 May 2010. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
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- Spirit & Life: Masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum Collection. Switzerland: The Aga Khan Trust for Culture. 2007. ISBN 978-2-940212-02-6.
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- "Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum, Masterpieces of Islamic Art Exhibition". Martin-Gropius-Bau. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
- "Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Arts of the Book and Calligraphy". MSakıp Sabancı Museum. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aga Khan Museum.|
- "Aga Khan Museum Online Gallery". Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- "AKTC Museum Projects". Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- "Aga Khan Trust for Culture". Archived from the original on 28 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- "Aga Khan Development Network". Archived from the original on 30 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- "TheIsmaili: Portuguese Jamat explores the Path of Princes". Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-07.