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Aga Khan Museum announces September opening date which coincides with birthday of Princess Zahra 2014-08-18

Date: 
Monday, 2014, August 18
Location: 
Source: 
theismaili.org
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Aga Khan Museum announces September opening date

The Aga Khan Museum’s exceptional collection of over 1 000 objects will be complemented by a vibrant performing arts programme. Photo: Tom Arban
The Aga Khan Museum’s exceptional collection of over 1 000 objects will be complemented by a vibrant performing arts programme. Photo: Tom Arban

Toronto, 18 August 2014 — The Aga Khan Museum announced today that it will open its doors to the public on Thursday, 18 September. The announcement coincided with the launch of the museum’s website at www.agakhanmuseum.org. September 18th is also the birthday of Princess Zahra Aga Khan

Visitors will be able to explore a collection of over 1 000 objects, representing more than ten centuries of human history and a geographic area stretching from the Iberian coast to China. A vibrant performing arts programme will showcase artists, film, sights and sounds that have never been seen or heard in Toronto.

“The opening of the Aga Khan Museum signals a new chapter in the history of museums in North America as the first dedicated to the arts of Islamic civilisations,” says Henry Kim, the museum’s Director. “Its mandate is to educate and inspire.”

The opening will finally unveil the museum’s much anticipated Fumihiko Maki-designed building. Surrounded by a landscaped park that it shares with the neighbouring Ismaili Centre, Toronto, the distinct building with angled leaning walls clad in white granite can scarcely be missed by drivers speeding along the nearby Don Valley Parkway thoroughfare. Inside, the museum’s gallery spaces, an auditorium, a restaurant, and a shop are organised around a central courtyard. A play of light, texture, form, and colour produce ever-changing patterns that will intrigue visitors when they begin to walk through the doors.

A play of light, texture, form, and colour produce ever-changing patterns that will intrigue visitors when they begin to walk through the doors. Photo: Tom Arban
A play of light, texture, form, and colour produce ever-changing patterns that will intrigue visitors when they begin to walk through the doors. Photo: Tom Arban

For those that can’t wait until the September opening, the museum’s website offers a tantalising preview. The homepage invites visitors to discover what the Museum is all about, browse highlights from its collection and sign up for email updates.

“The Museum’s opening season is filled with exhibitions, performances, lectures, art classes, and courses,” says Kim. “Two exhibitions In Search of the Artist and The Garden of Ideas explore past and present artists — how they were 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.”

The website offers details on upcoming exhibitions and performances, and also provides information on the museum’s opening music festival. Passes and tickets for the opening festivities go on sale on 25 August and can be purchased directly through the website.

Anyone who plans to be a regular visitor to the museum will also want to check out the membership categories. Students, individuals, seniors, and families will find a variety of affordable membership options ranging between CAD $50 - $110. There is also a special category for National / International members who live more than 100 kilometres outside of the Toronto area.

Additional levels are available for those who wish to couple their membership with a financial contribution — a portion of which can qualify as a tax-deductible donation. Anybody who purchases any level of membership by 31 December 2014 will be recognised as a Founding Member of the Aga Khan Museum.

“Together with Torontonians and other Canadians, the Ismaili community has been anticipating this opening for a very long time,” says Kim.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone through our doors starting September 18th, and over and over again in the months and years to come.”


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