At Art Dubai 2008, the Dubai-based collector Dr Farhad Farjam announced that he was planning a series of private museums in Iran, the UAE and elsewhere. A year later, the Farjam Collection at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) was set to open on 11 March with an exhibition that focuses on Islamic art. Important pieces include a gold 19th-century crown made for the Nepalese royal family, set with pearls and precious stones; a book of poems mainly written in Nastaliq script, dated 1473 AD and signed by Abdol Rahim Yaghobi, made for the library of Iranian king Ya’ghub Beyk Aqquyunlu; and a 12th-century bronze Khurasan incense burner in the shape of a lion.
Besides Qur’ans, manuscripts, calligraphy, lacquer work and miniatures, Dr Farjam’s collection, which had been stored in Dubai, Paris and London, also includes impressionist and modern European paintings, including Willem de Kooning’s Woman, 1965, and Marc Chagall’s Le Prétendant, 1972, and modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art. He has been collecting since the 1970s, dedicating a term’s college fees to pay for his first miniature, and is a regular at auctions in London and Dubai.
The 3,000 sq. ft gallery, located in the Gate Village at the DIFC, is a non-commercial enterprise, supported by the Farjam family’s Hafiz Cultural Foundation. Emilie Faure, previously public programmes manager at Sotheby’s Institute in London, joined the Farjam Collection as collection and exhibitions manager on 1 March. She will curate around four exhibitions a year from the collection for the gallery space.
Originally appeared in The Art newspaper as 'Farjam Collection opens in Dubai'