The new museum will have a strong educational vocation: it will be a place for active inquiry, for discussion and research, for lectures and seminars, and for an array of collaborative programs with educational institutions and with other museums. - His Highness the Aga Khan
The opening of a new museum is an exceptional occasion. In the case of the Aga Khan Museum, it signals a new chapter in the history of museums in North America as the first dedicated to the arts of Islamic civilizations.
With its landmark building, designed by the Pritzker Prize–winning architect Fumihiko Maki, and its setting within the landscaped gardens of the Park, the Aga Khan Museum celebrates the arts in all forms. Visitors to the Museum are as likely to view our Permanent Collection as they are to visit one of our many temporary exhibitions, to listen to a performance in the auditorium, attend a class, study architecture, tour the gardens, or sample from the great cuisines of Turkey, Iran, North Africa, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
The mandate of the Aga Khan Museum is to educate and inspire. Its programs have been developed to meet these aims. Visitors will gain access to art and performances that illustrate the true artistic diversity of Islamic civilizations, from the Arab Near East and its highly individualized offshoots in North Africa, to the Iranian world that stretched from modern Iran through Afghanistan and Central Asia, to the Hindustani courts of India and Pakistan, to the Muslim communities of China. It is art that is immersed in storytelling, the epic tales of kings and heroes and court life, that celebrates the perfection of traditional artistic forms, whether in objects made by master artists or in performances by virtuosos, and that continues to the present day.
Through art, the Museum aims to connect cultures.
We are very excited to share the Aga Khan Museum’s inaugural program. The Museum’s opening season presents a full program of exhibitions, performances, lectures, art classes, courses, and more. This season focuses on the role of artists past and present. The two exhibitions In Search of the Artist and The Garden of Ideas explore how artists are trained, what ideas motivated them, how they expressed individuality within highly structured art forms, and how traditional practices survived over centuries to be reinterpreted by artists working today.
Welcome to the Aga Khan Museum. We are open for discovery.
Henry S. Kim
Director and CEO