Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani

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Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani
Sheikh Hassan.jpg
Born 1962 (age 55–56)
Doha, Qatar
Nationality Qatari
Education Qatar University
Known for Collector

Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani (born in 1960 in Doha)[1][2] is a Qatari artist, collector, researcher, and educator in the field of modern art from the Arab world, India, and Asia. He is also Vice Chairperson of Qatar Museums Authority,[3] Advisor for Cultural Affairs at Qatar Foundation[4] and founder of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.[5]


He is a son of Sheikh Muhammad bin Ali Al Thani and his wife Al-Anoud Khalid Al-Thani.


Sheik Hassan studied "Art of the 20th Century" in a course at Qatar University in the mid-1980s. At that time, there was little information about Arab modern art, and there was not one single institution dedicated to Arab modern art in the whole region of the Middle East and North Africa.[6] He then decided to build his own collection and expand his knowledge of Arab modern art by sponsoring and promoting Arab artists.[7]


In 1986, Sheikh Hassan started his own collection. The first artwork he bought was an upside-down pyramid by a Doha-born painter named Yousef Ahmad.[8] Twenty-six years on, his collection has grown to 6000 artworks worth billions of dollars, acquired mostly from Qatari, Lebanese, Egyptian, Syrian and Iraqi artists. Today, his collection covers all phases of modern art in the Middle East from the 1840s to the present.[6]

In 1994, Sheikh Hassan opened a private museum, and started helping and sponsoring artists from the region, especially Iraqis fleeing the Gulf War.[6] In 2004, he offered the entire collection to Qatar Foundation and in 2009, the collection was transferred to Qatar Museums Authority.[7]


When he started his collection, Sheikh Hassan's initial plan was to create an institution that would look after his collection and exhibit it to scholars, students and art lovers.[8] In December 2010, his plan materialized with the opening of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, the first museum in the region dedicated to Arab modern art. The museum now hosts the full collection of Sheikh Hassan.[6] Hosted in a temporary building, a former school transformed into museum, Mathaf focuses in conservation, research and education around the collection.

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