Thursday, June 27, 2024

The Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is vastly different than its Parisian counterpart, both architecturally and in terms of the collection. Neither should be surprising, particularly as this Louvre opened in 2017. The building itself, featuring light refracted through a webbed concrete ceiling and perched on the gleaming waters of the Arabian Gulf, seems even more contemporary than I.M Pei's pyramid addition to the Louvre.



The collection is not huge and can be visited in an afternoon, although there is obviously ample additional exhibition space available. The displays are largely chronological, beginning with early indigenous settlements, progressing through the Egyptian civilization, and into the Greco/Roman periods. Pictured above are 8,000-year-old statutes from Jordan.


One stated goal of the museum is to bridge the divide between eastern and western art, and some exhibition space is devoted to showing the interactions between various cultures and religions over time.

                                                               An early Leonardo Da Vinci


                                          Below, a George Washington portrait by Gilbert Stuart


                                                                     The unique ceiling

Located on Saadiyat Island, the museum is one of several planned for an intended cultural center. Eventually, the island will showcase a Guggenheim contemporary art museum, a National Museum, a Maritime museum, and a performing arts center, amongst other attractions.


                                                                    A view over the Gulf


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