Middle Eastern art is rising to prominence in recent times;
Christie’s just held their first auction sale for Modern Middle Eastern art outside of the region on 25 October 2017, in London. This precedes the much-anticipated opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which was first announced back in 2005 and will now finally launch on 11 November. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel has designed a beautiful museum medina for it, situated on Saadiyat Island, a cultural district off the coast of the United Arab Emirates capital. Displays will range from the ancient to the modern and will be followed by a special inaugural exhibition From One Louvre to Another, on 21 December – 300 artworks are on loan from 13 French museums for the inaugural year. The Abu Dhabi Art Fair will also be taking place from the 8 – 11 November this year.
“At a time when culture is under attack… this is our joint response”
– French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen
Holding hands / Dorling Kindersley/UIG
A ‘Message of Tolerance’
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is part of ‘a major cultural strategy’ to promote the city as a patron of the arts in a region increasingly focused on soft power. In the gallery of world religions, a sixth century
Koran, a gothic
Bible and a Yemeni
Torah face each other, open to verses that give similar accounts. The idea behind the new museum is for it to be a cultural beacon, bringing different cultures together to shine fresh light on the shared stories of humanity. It is the first of its kind: a universal museum in the Arab world.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world (photo) / Steve Raymer / National Geographic Creative
These are just a few highlights and indications of the many exciting developments taking place for the Middle East’s art and cultural sector. Join the conversation by exploring leading Middle Eastern artists and collection highlights in the Bridgeman archive:
Bridgeman represents the Palestine Exploration Fund, which examines the Levantine region of the Middle East and holds images from expeditions to Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. Founded in 1865, It includes watercolours by war reporter William Crimea Simpson and explorer Claude Conder, as well as archaeological drawings and early photographs of the region and its historical sights.