New National Dubai Collection
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Dubai Culture & Arts Authority in partnership with Art Dubai Group developed a new type of collection, “an institutional art collection for the Emirate of Dubai” (Antonia Carver). It was built through an innovative partnership model. Most part of this new Dubai national collection will be digital: an online museum with annual exhibitions of real art works.

Dubai is a city-state. It is diverse and contradictory and has a big number of commercial galleries, but doesn’t have an institutional collection. Jameel Arts Centre, non-profit art institution, which is funded by the private Saudi Arabian organisation Art Jameel is a rare exception. Dubai Arts Authority and Art Dubai Group came up with an idea on how to build a collection without actually buying any works: private collectors are asked to loan their works for a minimum of ten years. Real art work will remain hanging in their own home, while collectors will retain legal ownership of the art, but its digital avatar will be on view to the public.

“There is this global debate among institutions at the moment about the balancing of preservation of works of art for future generations and the primacy of conservation, versus the need to make sure the public can access work in today’s world—how works can be seen and how collections can be opened up, safely, to the broadest possible public,” says Antonia Carver, the director of Art Jameel and member of the Dubai Collection’s curatorial committee. “I think the Dubai Collection is coming into that debate in a really interesting way, saying well actually there are other ways collections can be presented and accessed.”

The first physical exhibition of selected works of art from the collections of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum will be launched later this year at the Etihad Museum. The Dubai Collection’s digital museum at the same time will be presenting art works selected by the Dubai Collection’s curatorial committee.

The new national Dubai Collection will include pieces by the Algerian artist Baya, Fateh Moudarres from Syria, Lebanese artist Chafic Abboud and Adam Henein from Egypt, alongside those by Emirati artists, such as Abdul Qader Al Rais, Shaikha Al Mazrou and Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim.

To learn more about the Collection, please visit its official website.

You might also be interested in visiting Baya Mahieddine’s exhibition at Qatar National Library.