Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the head of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), has been named the most influential personality in the world of art, a leading art magazine has announced.
ArtReview in its annual “Power 100″ listing of the most powerful figures on the international art scene, said on Thursday that Sheikha Al-Mayassa, sister of the current emir of Qatar, topped the charts due to “her organisation’s vast purchasing power”.
“[But] Sheikha Al-Mayassa’s influence is not merely confined to international art salerooms and the goings-on in the dusty Gulf state,” the magazine said in its profile of Al-Mayassa.
“No wonder, then, that whenever Sheikha Al-Mayassa is in town, everyone from government ministers to mayors queue up to pay their respect”.
Mark Rappolt, editor of ArtReview told the Guardian newspaper that the numbers spoke for themselves in terms of Al-Mayassa’s “sheer buying power and what that means for the market”.
The next three art personalities on the list are the American dealers David Zwirner, Iwan Wirth and Larry Gagosian.
China’s Ai Weiwei, is the highest-placed artist at number nine, followed by the performance artist Marina Abramovi, at number 11.
According to the magazine, the “Power 100” is “a unique snapshot of the contemporary art scene” and those included “judged on their international influence over the production of art and contribution to the art world during the past 12 months”.
Sheikha Al-Mayassa’s brother Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took over as emir of Qatar after his father stepped down in June this year.
The QMA spends about $1bn a year on art, including developing galleries, sponsoring and arranging film festivals and public art, the magazine said.
Al-Mayassa first appeared on the “Power 100” in 2011 at number 90, rising to number 11 last year.