QNL opens “Between Science and Art: Early Photography in the Middle East” exhibition – ILoveQatar.net

Qatar National Library’s photography exhibition, “Between Science and Art: Early Photography in the Middle East,” opened to the public on 20 September with a brief ceremony. His Excellency Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of State, Qatar and President of Qatar National Library, inaugurated the exhibition in the presence of His Excellency Jean-Baptiste Faivre, Ambassador of the French Republic to the State of Qatar.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Dana Al Ghafri, Head of Museum Documentation at Qatar Museums Authority, and well-known photographers Mashael Hejazi and Khalifa Al-Obaidly, Director of Tasweer Festival.
The exhibition focuses on stories of the first practitioners of photography and will include some of the earliest and most rare images of the Middle East, captured by renowned photographers during the early years of the medium. The Heritage Library will display objects from both Qatar National Library and Qatar Museums collections, such as the works by pioneer French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804 – 1892) and the “Giroux Daguerréotype,” a rare example of the first commercially produced cameras.
On the occasion, His Excellency Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of State, Qatar, and President of the Qatar National Library said:
His Excellency Dr. Al-Kawari further stressed that
The exhibition describes the material dimension of photography—from the daguerreotype process to some of the first printing techniques and their commercial implications—as well as photography’s effect on the construction of “the Orient” and the intellectual debate the new invention brought to the Arab world. Visitors will learn about the journey of the camera obscura between the 5th century BCE and 19th century CE, Arab contributions to photography, and the first daguerreotypists in the Middle East.
Qatar National Library is the nation’s prime institution of reference for Arabic and Islamic heritage and civilization, and its Heritage Library provides a rich collection of valuable historical texts, manuscripts and rare items, which can be accessed by researchers, historians and the general public.
The temporary exhibition will be available for viewing in the Heritage Library area until 30 December 2021. Visitors can book their exhibition visit by registering through this link. The Library will continue to implement its COVID-19 safety measures to provide a safe and sanitized environment for visitors. During the three-month exhibition, the Library will also be hosting small-scale virtual sessions related to photography. For a complete list of exhibition-related events, please visit the Events page on the Library’s website: www.qnl.qa/en/events.
Press Release and cover image credit: QNL
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