The biggest fish in the art acquisition pond is Sheika al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the 30-year-old chairwoman of the Qatar Museums Authority and a sister to Qatar’s new emir (and daughter of the former). Her recent buys include pieces by Rothko, Damien Hirst, and Paul Cézanne’s Card Players — for which she shelled out $250 million, the highest price ever paid for a painting.
Art insiders say the sheika is attempting to amass the best of the best, and price is not an issue for the oil-rich country. As for what she plans to do with all these artistic riches, she is a woman of the people:
“The sheika has a very grand vision and is a very educated woman,” said Leila Heller, a New York dealer with many Middle Eastern artists. “She wants to make Doha a hub for art in the region, where people don’t necessarily have to fly to New York and to Paris and to L.A. to see great shows. Doha has an ambitious plan of opening close to 20 museums of different kinds.”
Should we all start saving up for a visit?
Photo via AP