The World of the Fatimids bears witness to a remarkable dynasty that built one of the world’s oldest universities, compiled one of its greatest libraries, and fostered a flowering of the arts and sciences. At its height in the 10th and 11th centuries, the Fatimids established one of the greatest civilizations in the world, influencing knowledge and culture throughout the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Near East.
The exhibition marks the first time a carefully selected collection of masterpieces from the Fatimid dynasty are shown in North America. Among the objects are monumental marble reliefs, never before shown abroad, from the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, luxury objects ranging from rock crystal and ivory to ceramic lusterware — a technique mastered during Fatimid times — and masterpieces of metalware. Drone videography and 360 virtual reality films conjure up Cairo, the Fatimids’ flourishing capital, and offer insight into what the city was like a millennium ago.
On March 11, 2018, Patrons’ Circle supporters of the Aga Khan Museum gathered from around the world to celebrate the opening of "The World of the Fatimids." After a keynote lecture by curator Dr. Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani, Patrons enjoyed Egyptian-themed appetizers, Pop-up Performances in our Mongolian Yurt, and intimate tours of the new exhibition.
On March 12, 2018, the Aga Khan Museum welcomed more than 250 supporters and sponsors from around the world to an exclusive opening celebration for "The World of the Fatimids," hosted by Chairman of the Board, Prince Amyn Aga Khan. Guests enjoyed a musical performance, world-class cuisine, and a private viewing of the new exhibition.
On now at the Aga Khan Museum, the special exhibition "The World of the Fatimids" showcases a dynasty that is still largely unknown to North Americans. From art to architecture, trade to science — the Fatimid dynasty sought the best and brightest from all cultures to create beautiful objects and a remarkable civilization.
On your visit to the "The World of the Fatimids," take time to explore some of the most awarded and photo-worthy spaces in Toronto — including the open air courtyard at the heart of the Museum, five reflecting pools in the Aga Khan Park, and the stunning décor of Diwan restaurant.
On Sunday, March 25, we welcomed Dr. Farhad Daftary to deliver an engaging talk complementing our "The World of the Fatimids" exhibition. In this full length video of the event, Dr. Daftary investigates the roots of the Fatimids as imams and spiritual leaders of an important Shia community, and reveals how the Ismaili connection of the caliphs served to extend beyond the borders of the Fatimid state.
Cairo: a thousand years ago, the Fatimids chose this place as their capital. They called it Al Qahira, or “the victorious.” They built the world’s oldest university and created one of the greatest libraries. They defined luxury objects for a millennium and fostered a flowering of the arts and architecture. They established one of the greatest civilizations, influencing knowledge and culture throughout the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Near East.