New Delhi: Louvre Abu Dhabi unveiled 11 new acquisitions in its permanent galleries and 40 new loans throughout the year including ancient, modern and contemporary masterpieces from around the world. The new acquisitions will join the 657 artworks on display along the permanent collection of Louvre Abu Dhabi.
His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said, “Louvre Abu Dhabi is Abu Dhabi’s gift to the world and a story of long-standing friendship and collaboration with France. The galleries’ update will not only invite visitors to discover new acquisitions from the museum’s growing collection, and new loans from our partners. It also illustrates our commitment to train and champion the next generation of Emirati museum professionals who have been working over the years and now take great care of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection and galleries.”
The new acquisitions in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection include a monumental 175cm Avalokiteshvara Buddhist sculpture from China (11-12thC CE) representing Guanyin, a divinity of compassion, made in the Buddhist classical form from the Song dynasty (960-1279); four tapestries depicting The Hunts of Maximilian from an original drawing by Bernard van Orley from France (1665-1674) which are part of series of tapestries currently in Musée du Louvre’s collections, depicting the hunting parties of Archduke Maximilian, the Habsburg duke of Brabant, commissioned by the Habsburg court, the new acquisition represents the hunt in September; a Japanese Samurai armour (18th CE) bearing the crests of the 4th Lord Nabeshima, feudal lord of Saga in Hizen, a masterpiece by famous armour maker Miyata Katsusada (1707-1730); a rare conical helmet from Mongolia or China (13th -14th CE) part of a medieval suit of armour reflecting Ottoman turban helmets; a Phoenix-headed Ewer from the Tang Dynasty, China (8th CE) in white earthenware with a three-coloured glaze; a rock crystal knife with a jewelled parrot from India (ca. 1600), a ceremonial knife that is as much a piece of jewellery as it is a weapon and a jewelled katar dagger from India (18th CE) inlayed with 481 rubies and almost one hundred emeralds, a weapon worn at court as a symbol of wealth and power.
From the region, the acquisitions include a rare Albarello decorated with fleurs-de-lys from Syria or Egypt (14th -15thC CE), used for medicines or perfumes belonging to a group of Syrio-Egyptian ceramics of the Mamluk period influenced by Chinese Yuan dynasty (1268-1644) ceramics; a Three Medallion Mamluk Carpet from Egypt (late 15thC CE), named after the characteristic of the decoration of the piece, the carpet is an exceptional and rare example of court workshop in Cairo, made in the style of the typical Moorish decoration seen in stucco or woodcarving at that time; a rare Ottoman horse armour (15-16thC CE) bearing the Saint Irene mark of the imperial ottoman arsenal in Istanbul, one of less than twenty known Ottoman horse armours to date and a Mamluk Bowl from Egypt or Syria (late 13th or early 14th CE), an example of early metalwork that flourished under the Mamluks, at a time where the inlaying tradition, one of the jewels of the arts of Islam, was developed, commissioned by Ahmad ibn al-Jundi al-Tarrab, a high ranking mamluk officer under the sultanate of al-Malik al-nasir Muhammad ibn Qala’un (1299-1340).
Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi said, “We are thrilled to unveil new artworks in our galleries this month. Louvre Abu Dhabi is proud to add 11 new monumental acquisitions to its collection. Building a collection is a gradual and rigorous process through the selection of marvellous pieces, and we hope visitors delight in discovering and learning about these new ones as much as we do. Our French and regional partners are greatly contributing to our universal narrative with an impressive selection of new loans. A number of important artworks from our French and regional partners that have become renowned by visitors, will also remain on display for another year.”
Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi, said, “Louvre Abu Dhabi’s programme of new exhibitions and rotations of loans from our partners means we are able to enrich our permanent galleries regularly. At the same time, the museum’s curatorial team and acquisitions committee work closely to enhance our permanent collection with world-class additions that illuminate new aspects of our unique institutional perspective and universal narrative. This month, we welcome a new set of masterpieces to the museum, ensuring that first-time and repeat visitors alike will find something to fascinate and inspire them as we celebrate culture and creativity from all areas of the world.”
Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director, Musée du Louvre, said, “Just one year after its opening, Louvre Abu Dhabi has joined the circle of the leading international museums. Its success is based on three pillars: its spectacular architecture, the richness and innovation of its narrative for its permanent collection and the high quality of its temporary exhibitions. New exceptional loans from the 13 French museums and institutions in the framework of the intergovernmental agreement between our countries will renew the visitor experience in the permanent galleries.”
New masterpieces from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s regional cultural institutions and 13 French partner museums will join the 300 loans on display along the permanent collection of Louvre Abu Dhabi. A major rehang of the final permanent galleries will bring works from modern and contemporary masters including: Emile Bernard’s Woman smoking a tambac (1900), Vincent van Gogh’s The dance hall in Arles (1888) and Claude Monet’s Madame Louis Joachim Gaudibert (1868) from Musée d’Orsay; Francis Picabia’s Animal trainer (1923), Man Ray’s Suicide (1926) and Henri Matisse’s Reader on black background (1939) from Musée national d’art moderne – Centre Pompidou. New loans also include Joseph Aved’s Full length portrait of Mehmet Said Pasha, bey of Rumelia (1742) from Château de Versailles, and Dje(m) al-ed-din Mohammed ibn Mohammed el Hachimi el-Mecki’s Arab celestial globe (1573)from Mecca on loan from Bibliothèque nationale de France. Loans from regional institutions include Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Cabra(1981-82) from the collection of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Children’s Museum will see two new loans from Musée du Louvre: An Egyptian Cat’s Mummy (Late Period) and an Askos in the Shape of a Duck (4th-1st century BCE). The loans are showcased as part of the Children’s Museum’s new exhibition Animals: Between Real and Imaginary until July 2019. The exhibition explores how animals have been represented throughout art history across many eras and regions.
Louvre Abu Dhabi was created by an intergovernmental agreement between the UAE and France which includes a rotating selection of loans from 13 French partner institutions over 10 years, supplementing the museum’s own collection as it grows through acquisitions. As part of the agreement, cultural leaders from the UAE and France make up Louvre Abu Dhabi’s acquisitions committee. This enables Louvre Abu Dhabi to refresh its permanent displays regularly and significantly, adapt and respond to global conversations and offer a unique visitor experience within each season.
Many of the museum’s exceptional loans remain on display, including iconic masterpieces such as La Belle Ferronière by Leonardo da Vinci and Woman with a Mirror by Titian from Musée du Louvre; Portrait of the Artist’s Mother by James Abbot McNeill Whistler from Musée d’Orsay, an ornamented Buddha from Cambodia from Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, an anthropomorphic mask from Mexico from Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac and The Belvedere Apollo by Francesco Primaticcio from Château de Fontainebleau.
The new displays in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent galleries will be unveiled ahead of the museum’s first anniversary celebrations, which will include a two-day symposium, Worlds in a Museum, that brings global industry leaders together to discuss the future of contemporary museography in a globalised world.
The museum’s permanent galleries are complemented by its ongoing programme of exhibitions, including Japanese Connections: The Birth of Modern Décor (until24 November 2018), which traces the influence of the iconic Japanese Ukiyo-e aesthetic on French artists and modern French décor, through a presentation of 59 prints, paintings and screens including the works of French group, the Nabis, and five Japanese Ukiyo-e masters from the 19th and 20th centuries.
For its second exhibition of the season, Louvre Abu Dhabi will present a special edition of the touring exhibition Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia, curated by Jamal S. Omar, Vice President of Antiquities and Museums Department at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director and Noëmi Daucé, Chief Curator for Archaeology at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The acclaimed exhibition will explore the archaeological and cultural heritage of Saudi Arabia and the diverse history of the Arabian Peninsula, in partnership with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage. The exhibition will also feature additional artefacts from the UAE that are displayed for the first time, highlighting the shared history of the two nations through five chapters.