The majority of the DDFIA’s collection of about 2,500 objects is housed at Shangri La, many of which are embedded into the structure of the buildings. Additional examples of Islamic art from the collection are on view in the following exhibitions and permanent installations, both in Honolulu and across the continental United States.
Arts of the Islamic World Gallery
The Arts of the Islamic World Gallery at the Honolulu Museum of Art explores art from across the Islamic world and offers an introduction to works visitors will encounter during a tour of Shangri La. Objects on view from the Shangri La collection highlight the diversity of fine and decorative arts in Islamic cultures throughout the world, spanning the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe, and include ceramics, jewelry, furniture, and glassware.
Contemporary Islamic Art
October 6, 2016 to Spring 2017
On view in the Arts of the Islamic World Gallery rotating space at the Honolulu Museum of Art, this short-term exhibit brings together six works from Shangri La artists-in-residence Ayad Alkadhi, Walid Raad, and Mohamed Zakariya alongside one of the Honolulu Museum of Art's newest acquisitions by Lebanese-born Hawaiʻi artist Reem Bassous.
This Shangri La pop-up exhibit explored the concept of symmetry in Islamic art through works of art in Shangri La’s collection and through the landscape of Hawaii. Contact us if you are interested in hosting this educational exhibit.
Waterscapes: Islamic Architecture and Art from Doris Duke's Shangri La
April 7–November 6, 2016
On view in the second floor galleries at Rough Point, The Newport Restoration Foundation brought together two of Duke's greatest passions--her love of the water; and, her love of Islamic art and architecture-- in Waterscapes. The exhibit explored the theme of water through objects on loan from Shangri La; photographs of the property and other historic sites that inspired its many fountains, pools, and cascades; and home movies from Duke's travels in North Africa, the Middle East, and India to buy art and furnishings for the house.
The exhibition was accompanied by a fully illustrated publication by guest curators and noted Islamic art scholars Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, with contributions by Kent Severson, conservator at Shangri La. Copies are available for purchase at Rough Point, or online here.
Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art 2012–2015
Organized on the centenary of Doris Duke’s (1912–93) birth by guest curators Donald Albrecht, curator ofdesign for the Museum of the City of New York and Thomas Mellins, architectural historian, Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art explored the synthesis of 1930s modernist architecture, tropical landscape and Islamic art that Duke achieved at Shangri La. This was the first major exhibition about Shangri La to be shown outside Hawai‘i, taking the story of Duke’s transformative engagement with the Islamic world and her work at Shangri La to national audiences.
The exhibit featured photographs by Tim Street-Porter, archival materials, and a selection of more than 60 objects of Islamic art from the collection. The exhibition also included new art work by seven past artists-in-residence, including Zakariya Amataya, Afruz Amighi, Shezad Dawood, Emre Hüner,Walid Raad, Shahzia Sikander, and Mohamed Zakariya.
Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art was on view through 2015 at the following locations:
- Museum of Arts and Design, September 7, 2012–February 17, 2013
- The Norton Museum of Art, March 16–July 15, 2013
- Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, August 29, 2013–January 5, 2014
- University of Michigan Museum of Art, January 25–May 4, 2014
- Nevada Museum of Art, May 31–September 7, 2014
- Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, October 26–December 28, 2014
- Honolulu Museum of Art, February 12–June 7, 2015
The exhibition is accompanied by the book Doris Duke’s Shangri La: A House in Paradise, edited by exhibition curators Donald Albrecht and Thomas Mellins and published by Skira/Rizzoli.
Shangri La was one of 50 international institutions lending collections to Beauty and Belief, a large exhibition that opened at the Brigham Young University (BYU) Museum of Art in Provo, Utah, on February 24, 2012. Curated by Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir, originally from Tunisia, Beauty and Belief sought to provide “a view from within Islamic culture” to bridge differences and inspire insight through beauty. Thirteen of the 250 objects in the exhibition were from the DDFIA collection; they date from the early tenth through nineteenth centuries and include ceramics, glass, doors, hanging lamps, textiles and a page from a very early North African Qu’ran.
Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture was on view through 2013 at the following locations:
- BYU Museum of Art, February 24, 2012–September 29, 2012
- Indianapolis Museum of Art, November 2, 2012–January 13, 2013
On view at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum from October 23, 2009–January 10, 2010, this was the first major exhibition in the West to explore the rich but little known arts of Siam and Burma from the nineteenth century. Many of the 140 artworks—including gilded ritual vessels, mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture, paintings, manuscripts, textiles, and ceramics were acquired by the museum from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and were on display for the first time.
Doris Duke: The Southeast Asian Art Collection, a book by Dr. Nancy Tingley documents the history and significance of the collection. The book can be downloaded free.
On view at the East-West Center Gallery: Pair of seventeenth-century shaped Mughal carpets.
Fields of Flowers: Woven Carpets and Mughal Treasures, 2008
On view at the East-West Center Gallery, East-West Center, in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, from September 24–December 12, 2008, this exhibition focused on mid-seventeenth-century Mughal Indian floral motifs as found in a rare pair of large, unusually shaped Mughal carpets.
Other works of art inspired by Mughal floral patterns, including brassware, paintings, stonework, woodwork and textiles, were featured in the exhibition. Photographs and video demonstrated the objects’ social and historical context. The exhibition was co-sponsored by the East-West Center.
Enduring Threads: Central Asian Embroidered Textiles, 2005–2006
On view at the East-West Center Gallery, East-West Center, in Honolulu, Hawai‘i from November 7, 2005–January 19, 2006, this exhibition presented a selection of suzanis from the DDFIA collection. Suzanis are part of a textile tradition that showcases bold and colorful embroidery. Historically made by women for daughters’ dowries, suzanis decorate homes as wall hangings, bedding and curtains, among other decor.
Photographs of Uzbekistan were exhibited with thesuzanis to provide an overview of the culture and society in which these textiles were produced. The exhibition was presented in partnership with the East-West Center Arts Program.