MOHAMMED AL KUWARI/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

MOHAMMED AL KUWARI/
VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

As chairwoman since 2006 of Qatar Museums, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani spends a lot of money on art. And when we say a lot, we mean more money than Tate, more money than MoMA; her annual acquisitions budget is thought to be $1 billion. Thus far, she has focused her buying power on Western modern and contemporary art, including works by Damien Hirst, Richard Serra, Jeff Koons, and Andy Warhol, feeling that it is important for aspiring young Qatari artists to see what is happening on the cutting edge of the art world. “My father [the former Emir of Qatar] often says, in order to have peace, we need to first respect each others’ cultures,” the Sheika once told the New York Times.

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Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani

Location:
Doha, Qatar

Source of wealth:
Inheritance

Collecting area:
Modern and contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

In 2013 Sheikha Al Mayassa unveiled 14 new monumental bronze sculptures by Damien Hirst in front of a health center for women and children in Doha. Considered an audacious installation in this conservative city, The Miraculous Journey, as the installation is called, chronicles the development of a growing fetus inside a womb. The culmination of the work is a 46-foot-tall, anatomically correct baby boy.