Nasser David Khalili, KCSS, KCFO (Persian: ناصر داوود خلیلی, born 18 December 1945 in Esfahan) is a British-Iranian property developer, art collector and philanthropist based in London. He holds [United Kingdom] citizenship. Khalili has been called the "cultural ambassador of Islam" by leaders of Muslim countries.
Since 1970 he has assembled, under the auspices of the Khalili Family Trust, five comprehensive art collections, together comprising some 25,000 works, including Islamic and Japanese art. The Khalili Collections are fully represented in a series of over 40 volumes, of which 90% have already been published.
Khalili has, under the auspices of the Khalili Family Trust, assembled five comprehensive art collections since 1970: The Arts of the Islamic World (700–1900), Japanese Art of the Meiji Period (1868-1912), Swedish Textiles (1700-1900), Spanish Damascened Metalwork (1850–1900) and Enamels of the World (1700–2000). Together, the five collections comprise some 25,000 works. Each of the five collections is the largest and most comprehensive in the world. His Islamic art collection extends to 20,000 items and is the largest of its kind held privately in the world. and is in part almost always on show in various Museums around the world. His Japanese art collection contains 1500 items and is considered to be the greatest known group of Japanese artworks from the Meiji Period. Since 1995 this collection has been exhibited internationally at various museums all around the world.
Selections from each Collection have been exhibited in over 35 world-class museums, such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, the Alhambra Palace in Granada, the Portland Art Museum in the USA and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Key objects have been loaned to more than 40 different museums and institutions, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA to Somerset House London, England. Arts of Islam: Treasures from the Nasser D Khalili Collection was shown in 2007 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, in 2008 at Gallery One at the Emirate Palace, Abu Dhabi, in 2009 at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, in December 2010 - April 2011 at De Nieuwe Kerk International Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam. The Enamels of the World (1700-2000) opened on December 2009 until April 2010 at the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.
Nasser Khalili is a frequent lecturer. He has also made notable contributions to the scholarship of Islamic art, having endowed in 1989, the Nasser D. Khalili Chair of Islamic Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, the first chair devoted to the decorative arts of Islam to be founded at any university. He is a Visiting Professor of the School, and Member of the School's Governing Body.
He has also supported a research fellowship in Islamic art at the University of Oxford. The Khalili Family Trust made a significant endowment to the University of Oxford to establish and support The Khalili Research Centre for the Art and Material Culture of the Middle East, which opened in 2005. Nasser Khalili is a graduate, Associate Research Professor and Member of the Governing Body of the School of Oriental and African Studies, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of London. In early 2011 The Trust endowed The Nasser D Khalili Chair of Islamic studies at Queens College New York where Professor khalili graduated in early 1970’s. He was appointed to the International Board of Overseers at Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA, in 1997 and in 2003 received the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from Boston University. In May 2005 he also received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Arts London, and in 2007 he was given the High Sheriff of London award for his cultural contribution to London.
From : www.wikipedia.org