Each year, the Portuguese Museum Association (APOM) awards prizes to institutions and projects in a variety areas, from research and communication to exhibitions and education. This year, the 25th edition of the ceremony was held online on 10 December, bringing the representatives of Portugal’s most prominent cultural institutions together for the first time in a virtual format.
The exhibition The Rise of Islamic Art. 1869–1939, which was held from 12 July to 7 October 2019, was awarded the prize for best ‘Temporary Exhibition’. This show, curated by Jessica Hallett, comprised masterpieces of Islamic art from the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection as well as important international museums, and sought to understand the growing fascination with collecting ‘the Orient’ developed by the collector and his contemporaries.
The category of ‘Islamic Art’ took shape during this period and even stimulated the creation of new artistic styles and art forms in Europe, and the exhibition aimed to bring attention to the striking relationship between collecting and Realpolitik, pin-pointing the remarkable synergies between Gulbenkian’s acquisitions between 1900 and 1930 and concurrent developments in world history and the field of ‘Islamic art’.
The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue, available at the Foundation’s gift shops. The publication is profusely illustrated and includes contributions from international experts.