In the first major display of its collection outside Abu Dhabi, more than one hundred and sixty of the finest masterpieces from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection will be showcased in the Musée du Louvre, Paris at the Napoléon Hall from 2 May until 28 July.
The exhibition titled Birth of a Museum, will provide visitors to Musée du Louvre, Paris with a preview of the museum that is set to open late next year in the Saadiyat Cultural District, also the home to the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Situated in the Cultural District in Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi is a universal museum designed to house aesthetic expressions of different civilisations and cultures from the most ancient to the most contemporary.
In reference to philosophers and to the Universalism inherited from the Age of the Enlightenment in the 18th century, the Universal concept of the Louvre Abu Dhabi will challenge traditional art history categories and will review conventional stylistic approaches. It will also explore and establish unrevealed artistic, historical and anthropological links between cultures.
Visitors will be able to explore artworks from ancient times including one of the finest examples of a standing Bactrian Princess from the end of the 3rd millennium BCE, a Middle-Eastern gold bracelet with a lion’s head approximately 3000 years-old and a painting by Oman Hemdy Bey from the 1878, titled A Young Emir Studying and a painting by Paul Gauguin Children Wrestling, 1888. Extending into more modern, contemporary artworks include, a Piet Mondrian that was previously part of the former Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé Collection, a painting by Alexander Calder and a series of nine canvases by contemporary artist Cy Twombly.
Commenting on the exhibition, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said: “It is with much anticipation that we share these treasures internationally. This is a significant milestone for Louvre Abu Dhabi, that translates an important moment of history where both countries, UAE and France have collaborated and shared a vision enabling this achievement to be realised. The introduction to audiences outside Abu Dhabi provides an insight into the concept of Louvre Abu Dhabi and the museum as a place of cross-cultural dialogue and exchanges”
The exhibition curators are Vincent Pomarède, Director of Mediation and Cultural Programming/Director of the Department of Paintings at the Musée du Louvre, Paris Laurence des Cars, Director of the Musée de l’Orangerie and Khalid Abdulkhaliq Abdulla, Assistant Curator for Birth of a Museum Exhibition, TCA Abu Dhabi.
A previous Birth of a Museum exhibition was unveiled in Abu Dhabi at Manarat Al Saadiyat last year (22 April to 24 August 2013) and welcomed visitors from all around the world. The exhibition was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-President of the Executive Council Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Madame Aurélie Filippetti, French Minister of Culture and Communication.
Louvre Abu Dhabi was born of an agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France in 2007, the museum will display art, manuscripts and objects of historical, cultural and sociological significance – from both its permanent collection as well as loans from major French institutions.
Progress of Louvre Abu Dhabi continues; the collection is often showcased to the UAE audience through a number of public programmes (including exhibitions, performances and panels of scholars), the Abu Dhabi team is expanding in anticipation of the opening of the museum and the training of UAE Nationals is an ongoing priority. A one to one mockup of one of the museums’ galleries has been completed and the iconic dome continues to be assembled and placed into position on the construction site. With a built up area of 64,000 square metres, Louvre Abu Dhabi is conceived as a complex of pavilions, plazas, alleyways and canals, evoking the image of a city floating on the sea. Hovering over the complex will be a vast, shallow dome - some 180 metres in diameter - perforated with interlaced patterns so that a magical, diffused light reminiscent of the shadows of palm trees will filter through.