Sheikh's art dealer stages personal exhibition: 'Every Object Tells A Story'
Oliver Hoare’s cabinet of curiosities
Renowned Islamic art dealer, Oliver Hoare, is staging an exhibition of some personal and some borrowed art works and objects, that he has collected over the course of his esteemed career, titled – Every Object Tells a Story.
Having been allocated the 'Russian Art' department at Christie's auction house in the 1960's, Hoare eventually stumbled across a small trove of objects that instantly charmed him, and moreover, were familiar to him. Thanks to the stint of travelling he undertook before embarking upon his profession, he identified these things as Middle Eastern Islamic objects. He staged a successful auction for the small collection and, behold, the Islamic department at Christie's came to be.
Naturally Hoare is keen to narrate a particular tale in his new exhibition, focussing on his most celebrated achievements, which include an eight year stint as the advisor and buyer to the late Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed bin Ali al-Thani of Qatar. And most notably, he is credited with aiding Sheikh Saud with acquiring an estimated 75 per cent of the works now displayed in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, which opened seven years ago. "He had a dream to build major collection, and I introduced him to the entire market," says Hoare of his work with the Sheikh. Sheikh Nasser al-Sabah of Kuwait was also a principle client, enlisting Hoare's expertise whilst building a collection for the National Museum.
Hoare's exhibition doesn't open until May but the catalogue for the showing is already available online, building intrigue before the doors open. In the catalogue Hoare pays a marketed homage to the Sheikh, through the natural world section of the extensive exhibition, which has a healthy selection of objects referring to the extinct Dodo, as well as a rare Kakapo parrot.
"The purpose of including a stuffed Kakapo parrot in the context of this exhibition is to introduce Shaikh Saud al-Thani. Not that he looked like a nearly-extinct stuffed bird; far from it, he was a man of rare elegance. But those of you who take the trouble to read what follows will understand why the Kakapo is a perfect peg on which to hang such a story." and what follows is an extensive story of his work and experiences with the Sheikh who left such a lasting impression in the tale of his life.
Also included in the collection are two south Arabian gazelle statues from the second century BC, Roman and Chinese artefacts and even the 13th Dalai Lama's double bass instrument, which sits alongside some rare instruments form the Ottoman Empire.
Every Object Tells a Story: Oliver Hoare's Cabinet of Curiosities is at 33 Fitzroy Square, London from May 6 to June 26