Special exhibition "Calligrapher to the King - Daud Hossaini

7 February - 3 May 2020

Daud Hossaini, Schekaste-Stil auf Abri (wolkiges) Papier, OID 2352491 Foto: © Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Islamische Kunst / Shortle

Exhibition opening "Calligrapher to the King - Daud Hossaini"

on Thursday, 6 February 2020
Mshatta Hall of the Pergamon Museum
Start 18:30 h (admission from 18:00 h)


Stefan Weber, Director of the Museum for Islamic Art

Introduction to the exhibition

Margaret Shortle, Curator of the Museum of Islamic Art

Musical accompaniment throughout the evening with members of the Tschiltan Ensemble

Furkat Niyazi, Caroline Bunge, Ayfer Durdu, and Thomas Steinbach

Whether microscopic or monumental, the twentieth-century Afghan calligrapher Daud Hossaini (1894-1979) mastered all forms. With exceptional skill and artistry, he inscribed rice grains with multiple Quranic suras and penned over 550 words in a 2.5 cm square composition. He also designed large scale architectural inscriptions like those that adorn Kabul’s Triumphal Arch (Taq-e Zafar) and other modern monuments. As cultural advisor to the last Afghan King Muhammad Zahir Khan (r. 1933-1973), Hossaini belonged to the political and intellectual elite in Afghanistan. He held various political positions and oversaw the national printing industry.

From February 7 to May 3, 2020, selected masterpieces by Sayed Mohammad Daud Hossaini (1894-1979) will be on display at the Museum for Islamic Art. As a calligrapher, Hossaini was firmly rooted in the tradition of classical Islamic calligraphy and at the same time intensively engaged with modern techniques and media. A large number of calligraphies, marbled papers, archive materials and two grains of rice described above show excerpts from this fascinating life's work between tradition and modernity. The exhibition is made possible by a donation and a long-term loan of over 300 materials from Dr. Haschmat Hossaini, son of Daud Hossaini.

We have taken our art cabinet exhibition "Calligrapher to the King - Daud Hossaini" as an opportunity to develop an accompanying program that approaches Afghanistan from different perspectives. On the one hand, from mid-March to the end of April, we will be inviting public lectures and readings that shed light on the country's history and present. On the other hand, together with our partner Yaar Berlin e.V., we have designed a programme with and for the Afghan-born Berliners, which includes workshops on various topics and a Nauroz celebration (celebration of the Persian New Year). We will inform you about the exact dates as soon as possible.



Freunde des Museums für Islamische Kunst im Pergamonmuseum e.V.
c/o Museum für Islamische Kunst
Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse 6
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 26642 5201
Email: info@fmik.de