Following his unprecedented creative and commercial success on the continents of North America and Europe, Tod then turned his sights to the Middle East, where his talent, passion and pioneering spirit resulted in the first ever major exhibition of fine art in the region.
Since Tod was influential in creating the American wing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in the spring of 2005, Tod’s colleague, an executive of a major Hollywood entertainment company, requested that Tod act as a personal consultant and guide through the depths of the Metropolitan Museum’s archives for Nazneen Shafi. Shafi, whose mother won a Nobel peace prize in India, was the wife of the head of HSBC Bank in Dubai. The experience inspired Shafi and Tod to create a powerful partnership, and together they organized the first “Masters Art Show” in Dubai, for the Royal Family.
The exhibition took one year of non-stop work and found Tod organizing a group of A-List team members and experts such as Jeffrey Bergen, director of ACA Galleries, one of the oldest and most respected art institutions in New York, Robert Butters, head of creative at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Company, and other top professionals.
Pulling the show together in a city that was still undergoing major construction and 1,000 miles from the bombing of Baghdad was no easy task, but Tod’s consortium amassed more than 100 million dollars worth of art from Picasso, Cezean, Renior, Tiffany, and many more of the world’s most renowned artists.
The show took place for the Royal Family during the Dubai Shopping Festival 2006 to great acclaim. Masterpieces by such major artists had never before been seen in the Middle East and Tod’s pioneering vision paved the way for annual art shows and festivals in the region.