The Louvre Abu Dhabi is turning four on Thursday. In the lead up to the anniversary, the museum has been putting on display a total of 56 new acquisitions and 59 new loans in its galleries.
The acquisitions include Jean-Honore Fragonard’s The Bolt, one of the French artist’s most famous works, a dramatic symbol of the libertine spirit of the 18th century. There are also works by Auguste Rodin such as The Call to Arms, which honours the courage of ordinary citizens defending France against the German invasion during the Franco-Prussian War. There is also Monument of Victor Hugo, a bronze sculpture cast on the 150th anniversary of the French author’s death.
Among the latest loans are Claude Monet’s Houses of Parliament, Sun Breaking Through the Fog, and Pleasure Boats, which showcase the development of the artist’s practice and style across different periods. Also on view are Frederic Bazille’s The Pink Dress, Jackson Pollock’s The Moon-Woman Cuts the Circle and Vassily Kandinsky’s Gelb-Rot-Blau.
In the past year, the museum has showcased two international exhibitions – Abstraction and Calligraphy: Towards a Universal Language and Dragon and Phoenix: Centuries of Exchange between Chinese and Islamic Worlds – as well as reopened its Children’s Museum.
Louvre Abu Dhabi: Dragon and Phoenix - in pictures
This year also marked the launch of the museum’s first contemporary art prize in collaboration with Swiss watch brand Richard Mille, the shortlisted proposals for which will be exhibited on Thursday, November 18.
On its anniversary, Louvre Abu Dhabi has also opened its resource centre to the public. The centre will function as a resource for students, researchers, professors and the general public seeking to learn more about the museum’s private collection, as well as materials, documentation and information on preservation and restoration projects are housed within.
There is also a library of 5,000 books on the museum’s collection and art history, with resources available in Arabic, English and French. Entry is free to the centre, and visitors can collect their complimentary passes at the ticketing desk. It is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 5pm.
National Day celebrations
For UAE National Day, the museum has put together a public programme featuring a special display of artworks from the UAE that highlight the union of the country. Inside the museum’s permanent galleries, dedicated displays of UAE artefacts, as well as loans from various institutions in the country, will be on view.
For the presentation, Louvre Abu Dhabi has teamed up with its nine national partners, including the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Al Ain Museum, Dubai Municipality, Sharjah Archaeology Authority, Ajman National Museum, Umm Al Quwain National Museum and National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah.
Sharp Tools, a film by artist and poet Nujoom Alghanem, will also be screened as part of the Golden Jubilee programming. In addition, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s recognisable dome will be the site of an audio-visual presentation reflecting on 50 years of the UAE.
The family-friendly event, priced at Dh150 for entry, will also feature roller skating sessions in collaboration with Dubai skating group Madrollers and a performance by DJ Bliss playing Khaleeji music.