Posted on September 18, 2012

Under the patronage of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) Chairperson, QMA’s Qatar Orientalist Museum will host the “The Art of Travel: Bartholomäus Schachman (1559-1614)” exhibition from November 15, 2012 to February 11, 2013 at the Alriwaq Doha exhibition space, located next to the Museum of Islamic Art.

Curated by Dr Olga Nefedova, Collections Director at the Orientalist Museum, The Art of Travel is an exhibition of Orientalist art and history, illustrating the importance of European-Ottoman relations throughout the 16th century.

Commenting on the significance of this exhibition, Dr Olga Nefedova said: “After years of restoration, conservation, research and study, the Orientalist Museum presents an exhibition of what can be technically termed “one artwork”, mainly focusing on a single document – Schachman’s travel album. The concept of the exhibition is vital for developing and sustaining a dialogue between different religions, nations, cultures, and traditions. It will undoubtly become one of the most significant yearly cultural events in Gdańsk and Doha.”

The exhibition will introduce visitors to the story of a journey to the Ottoman Empire done by Danzig (Gdańsk) Mayor Bartholomäus Schachman. The latter traveled to the most popular destinations among nobles, wealthy merchants, travelers and diplomats during the 16th century and depicted what he saw during his journey. Bartholomäus Schachman commissioned an album, dated 1590, which contains a large number of full-page watercolor drawings that document what he saw during his travels through the Ottoman Empire in 1588-89, depicting the costumes and people of Istanbul, together with scenes of everyday life, festivals and ceremonies.

The pages of the album will be on display along with related artworks and documents providing visitors with a fascinating and vivid view back in time to sixteen-century Danzig and Istanbul, to the life of the city mayor Bartholomäus Schachman.

A similar joint exhibition by QMA’s Qatar Orientalist Museum and the National Museums of Danzig named “Bartholomäus Schachman (1559 – 1614): the Art of Travel” opened in Gdańsk on July 16, 2012. The opening ceremony was attended by various members of Poland’s art community and a number of Polish officials, as well as the Orientalist Museum team. The exhibition in Poland witnessed huge turn out from a wide spectrum of community members and will stay on view till October 15, 2012.

A comprehensive educational program, including a number of lectures, will complement this exhibition aiming to engage visitors and encourage them to follow the example of Bartholomäus Schachman in exploring and recording memories to enhance cultural exchange and understanding.