The thought-provoking exhibition will explore the life and impact of one of history’s most renowned poets, marking the 750th anniversary of his passing.
TORONTO, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– Opening May 13, Rumi invites visitors on a fascinating journey through the life and legacy of poet and mystic, Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi (d. 1273). In a time where uncertainty has been one of few constants, Rumi’s words continue to touch the hearts of many, acting as a beacon of peace and love. Despite countless interpretations and translations of his work, his transformative messages have endured, providing solace and guidance in a world that often feels out of control.
Rumi’s words have become familiar to audiences all over the globe, appearing everywhere from social media to visual art. The exhibitionwill introduce visitors to the mystic behind the poetry, exploring his early life in Central Asia, experiences with displacement and migration, transformation into a master Sufi, and the multiple ways in which his words have and continue to impact arts and culture — from 16th-century painter, Sadeqi Beg to iconic pop star, Beyoncé.
The exhibition combines historical masterpieces with eye-opening contemporary artworks. The former include manuscripts, paintings, and artifacts from the Aga Khan Museum’s Collections, including a rare, illustrated copy of Rumi’s Masnavi, one of the most renowned works of Sufi poetry and a landmark of world literature. Rumi will also showcase objects from the collections of prestigious global institutions, such as the V&A, the Louvre, and the Met, alongside three art installations, commissioned by the Aga Khan Museum, by notable artists:
“In this exhibition, we seek to unravel who Rumi was and to view him with clarity in his historical and literary context — to separate the facts about his life and writing from his later reception,” says Dr. Michael Chagnon, Curator at the Aga Khan Museum. “In addition to showcasing new discoveries related to Rumi’s poetry in our own Collections, placing these objects in dialogue with contemporary works that respond to the exhibition’s core themes emphasizes the breadth of his impact and the enduring timelessness of his teachings.”
“In times of upheaval and uncertainty, Rumi’s message of peace and love resonates today as powerfully as ever. In this exhibition, historical and contemporary arts come together to speak of his lasting legacy and impact,” says Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis, Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum. “At the same time, the Rumi exhibition aims to remind us that the arts, just as Rumi’s work itself, are uniquely powerful in providing hope, building bridges, and bringing people together across and beyond differences in the name of peace.”
Along with the exhibition, visitors can enjoy an exciting program which includes:
Rumi has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.
The exhibition is presented by Sunray Group and supported by Texas Jasmine and Lizna & Farhan Kabani.
About the Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, has been established and developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Through permanent and temporary exhibitions, educational activities and performing arts, the Museum’s mission is to spark wonder, curiosity, and understanding of Muslim cultures and their connection with other cultures through the arts. Designed by architect Fumihiko Maki, the Museum shares a 6.8-hectare site with Toronto’s Ismaili Centre, which was designed by architect Charles Correa. The surrounding landscaped park was designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic.
FOR PRESS INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT:
Marketing and Communications Director
Aga Khan Museum