The masterpiece, modernist home which forms the basis of an eclectic, magnificent Islamic art collection that will be on display at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York is the Honolulu residence of Eastern art connoisseur Doris Duke called Shangri-La. “The Spanish-Moorish-Persian-Indian complex”, as Duke herself called it, is featured in the show and accompanying book with photos taken by Tim Street-Porter.
Along with photographs of the home are priceless artistic treasures from the Islamic world and contemporary projects done by artists who have residencies at Shangri La. The residence has served as the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art since her death in 1993 and has been open to the public since 2002.
The exhibition will also travel to other museums in Palm Beach and Honolulu after New York. Art critics and art historians are saying that the show is the best place in the city to see Islamic art after the Brooklyn and Metropolitan museums, which have permanent Islamic art galleries.
Friends and researchers claim that Duke’s passion for Islamic art was discovered while she was on her honeymoon with husband James Cromwell in 1935. Visits to the Taj Mahal, Morocco, Egypt and Indonesia influenced her greatly and served as the inspiration for their Honolulu home built far from the prying eyes of the Palm Beach-Newport gossip circuit of the times.
“Doris Duke’s Shangri-La: Architecture, Landscape and Islamic Art” will be on display at the Museum of Art and Design until February 17, 2013.