© Gary Otte / © The Aga Khan Museum
The new Aga Khan Museum opens in Toronto
North America’s first museum for Islamic art just opened in Toronto — the second choice for the Aga Khan Museum’s location after planning permissions quashed ideas to build it outside London’s Palace of Westminster. Of course, a museum dedicated to Muslim civilizations with no single, simple experience now seems right at home in a city — and country — that embraces diversity. Designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki, the museum was founded by its namesake, the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and founder of the Aga Khan Development Network. The Aga Khan wanted the museum to be designed around the concept of light so Maki’s building is positioned 45 degrees to solar north to ensure that all exterior surfaces receive natural light throughout the day. Its angular walls of white Brazilian granite were chosen for its resilience and luminosity. The museum’s permanent collection includes 1000 objects — portraits, textiles, ceramics, tiles, musical instruments and manuscripts — from the 8th to 19th centuries stretching from the Iberian Peninsula to China. Adults $20; students and kids 3 to 14 $15. Closed Mondays. tel: (416) 646-4677; agakhanmuseum.org.
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