- Exploring luxury through fashion, jewellery, visual art, furniture and design with masterpieces from the collections of international institutions and brands
- Featuring iconic fashion designs from the couture houses of CHANEL, Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Hermès, ELIE SAAB and more
Abu Dhabi: Louvre Abu Dhabi will present 10,000 Years of Luxury, a ground-breaking exhibition that explores the history of luxury for the first time in the Middle East. Organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Agence France-Muséums, this exhibition, which will open on October 30, 2019, features approximately 350 objects including fashion, jewellery, visual art, furniture and design, and explores how luxury has been defined by diverse cultures from Antiquity to the present day. 10,000 Years of Luxury is sponsored by Tryano, the only luxury department store in Abu Dhabi.
Curated by Olivier Gabet, Director of Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the exhibition draws primarily from the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and other French, international and local institutions. It also displays works from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection and offers a rare chance to revel in and evaluate our ever-changing fascination with luxury.
10,000 Years of Luxury exemplifies Louvre Abu Dhabi’s 2019/2020 season, Changing Societies, which focuses on how culture and creativity reflect major shifts in civilisations. The exhibition considers luxury as a vehicle for understanding the social, economic and political circumstances of a specific time period, as well as how notions of value have evolved throughout history.
The exhibition will present concepts of luxury from ancient civilisations and their worship of the gods, to the exquisite finery of the 18th century, to the Industrial Revolution and its impact on the mass consumption of luxury goods. Each piece offers a different viewpoint on what defines luxury – be it time, craftsmanship or rarity. Works range from a Mamluk carpet from Egypt dating back to the 15th century to an hourglass by Australian designer Marc Newson. The luxury of fashion is highlighted with both vintage and contemporary creations by iconic fashion designers: Balenciaga, CHANEL, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Karl Lagerfeld, Azzedine Alaïa, Maison Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès and more.
Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, stated: “In this exhibition, we are exploring humanity’s connection to luxury across time and cultures, taking a long lens on the subject from ancient treasures to present day haute couture. This approach is consistent with Louvre Abu Dhabi’s universal narrative, which is part of our DNA. We are grateful to our main partner Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the many institutions, including haute couture icons, who have contributed exceptional pieces to this wonderful story of luxury.”
Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director at Louvre Abu Dhabi, added: “This one-of a-kind exhibition examines the multi-faceted aspects of luxury that have fascinated humans throughout time, with a focus on the materials and techniques that define precious objects. We aim to challenge pre-conceived notions of luxury and offer new perspectives on this ever-changing concept.”
Olivier Gabet, Director of Musée des Arts Décoratifs, added: “Luxury is everywhere in our world today – surrounding us in objects, images, and language. This exhibition gathers rare artefacts kept in French National Collections, but also precious archaeological pieces recently unveiled in Abu Dhabi. It will offer a new way of understanding the notion of luxury and its historical roots.”
Commenting on the sponsorship of the exhibition, Sharmila Murat, General Manager of Tryano, said: “We are incredibly fortunate to partner with Louvre Abu Dhabi, where world-class art, architecture and now fashion will intersect at the 10,000 Years of Luxury exhibition. Tryano is proud to show support to the art communities in Abu Dhabi as an official sponsor of the exhibit, and we will have exciting activities throughout the AW19 season as part of our collaboration with Louvre Abu Dhabi.”
10,000 Years of Luxury will unfold across 12 rooms, beginning in antiquity and ending in the present day. Objects from the ancient empires of the Middle East and the Mediterranean chart early forms of luxury, which derived value from the cost and rarity of materials and signified specific social beliefs and customs. In the Middle Ages, luxury spread around the globe due to expanding trade routes and the development of new techniques.
The 17th and 18th centuries saw Paris take centre stage in the luxury market with the rise of decorative art dealers, known as marchand-mercier. Visitors will experience a recreation of an 18th century Parisian boutique, displaying the ingenious work of the marchand-mercier and the first forms of commercialised luxury.
The paradox of luxury became particularly evident from the end of the 19th century with lavish objects from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, while in the 20th century luxury returns to a closer relationship with natural and simple materials and resources. The exhibition closes with the question: what is luxury in 2019? Moving away from the material and into the philosophical, the final section proposes that contemporary luxury is defined by time, space and freedom.
In tandem with 10,000 Years of Luxury, Louvre Abu Dhabi will present the olfactory art installation USO - The Perfumed Cloud (USO = Unidentified Scented Object). Created by Maison Cartier’s in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent with Transsolar KlimaEngineering, and curated by Juliette Singer, Chief Curator for modern and contemporary art at Louvre Abu Dhabi, the installation invites visitors to climb a spiral staircase to immerse themselves in a scented cloud.
Inspired by this exhibition, Louvre Abu Dhabi will work with performers and artists to create priceless experiences defining luxury as experiences that money cannot buy. Curated by the internationally respected artistic director Ruth Mackenzie, CBE, the cultural programme will feature a series of intimate mini concerts around the museum, offering a close-up unforgettable musical experience. A World Premiere of digital interactive snow globes will also give the public the chance to activate a snowstorm.
The programme will offer a talk on 10,000 Years of Luxury by Olivier Gabet, as well as a selection of film screenings chosen by Emirati artist Hind Mezaina.
Group guided tours and free mini tours are offered to explore the exhibition. Visitors can also tour the exhibition through a multimedia guide available in Arabic, English and French. A catalogue highlighting the various themes, sections and objects in the exhibition is available in three languages.
Lenders to the exhibition include: Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris; Musée du Louvre, Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac; Louvre Abu Dhabi; Zayed National Museum; Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris; La Fondation des Artistes; BACCARAT; Cartier Collection; Direction du patrimoine CHANEL; Collection Chaumet, Paris; Chloé Archive, Paris; Maison Christian Louboutin; Christian Dior Couture; ELIE SAAB; Givenchy; Maison Guerlain; Hermès; Hervé Van der Straeten; HG Timepiece – Switzerland; Mellerio; PIERRE HARDY; Maison Rabih Kayrouz; Maison Schiaparelli; Maison Van Cleef & Arpels; Victoire de Castellane, Fleurs d'excès collection; Studio YMER&MALTA.
10,000 Years of Luxury runs from 30 October 2019 to 18 February 2020. Other exhibitions on view as part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s 2019/2020 season include Rendezvous in Paris: Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani & Co. (1900-1939) (18 September – 7 December 2019), Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West (February 19, 2020 – May 30, 2020) and Charlie Chaplin: When Art Met Cinema (April 15, 2020 – July 11, 2020).
The visit of 10,000 Years of Luxury and USO - The Perfumed Cloud is free with the museum’s general admission ticket. Pre-booking is highly advised due to the peak period. To book tickets, please visit www.louvreabudhabi.ae or call Louvre Abu Dhabi at +971 600 56 55 66. Admission is free for children under the age of 13.
Follow Louvre Abu Dhabi on social media: Facebook (Louvre Abu Dhabi), Twitter (@LouvreAbuDhabi) and Instagram (@LouvreAbuDhabi) #LouvreAbuDhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi hours are: Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 10 am–8 pm; Thursday and Friday, 10 am–10 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Last entries and ticket purchases end 30 minutes prior to closing. Special visitor hours will be in effect during some holidays and Ramadan.
General admission tickets are 60 AED (excluding 5% VAT). Tickets are 30 AED (excluding 5% VAT) for visitors ages 13-22, UAE education professionals, and members of the military.
Admission is free for members of the museum’s loyalty programme, children under the age of 13, ICOM or ICOMOS members, journalists and visitors with special needs and their companions.
ABOUT LOUVRE ABU DHABI
Created by an exceptional agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France, Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by Jean Nouvel and opened on Saadiyat Island in November 2017. The museum is inspired by traditional Islamic architecture and its monumental dome creates a rain of light effect and a unique social space that brings people together.
Louvre Abu Dhabi celebrates the universal creativity of mankind and invites audiences to see humanity in a new light. Through its innovative curatorial approach, the museum focuses on building understanding across cultures: through stories of human creativity that transcend civilisations, geographies and times.
The museum’s growing collection is unparalleled in the region and spans thousands of years of human history, including prehistoric tools, artefacts, religious texts, iconic paintings and contemporary artworks. The permanent collection is supplemented by rotating loans from 13 French partner institutions, regional and international museums.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is a testing ground for new ideas in a globalised world and champions new generations of cultural leaders. Its international exhibitions, programming and Children’s Museum are inclusive platforms that connect communities and offer enjoyment for all.
ABOUT MUSÉE DES ARTS DÉCORATIFS
The MAD is a private organization governed by the law of 1901 on not-for-profit associations and recognized as being in the public interest. It originated in 1882, in the wake of the Universal Exhibitions, when a group of collectors banded together with the idea of promoting the applied arts and developing links between industry and culture, design and production.
For many years it was known as the Union centrale des Arts décoratifs (UCAD), but in January 2018 it changed its name to the MAD while staying true to its original aims of safeguarding the collections, promoting culture, providing art education and professional training, and supporting design.
An original, multi-facetted institution, the MAD pursues the objectives it was given at the outset: “to keep alive in France the culture of the arts which seek to make useful things beautiful” and to maintain close links with industry, forging numerous partnerships with firms operating in various fields.
The MAD is divided between three major sites in Paris:
- At 107 rue de Rivoli, the Rohan and Marsan wings of the Louvre house the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Library
- At 63 rue de Monceau, the Musée Nissim de Camondo is installed in the Hôtel Camondo
- And 266 boulevard Raspail has been the home of the Ecole Camondo, a school of design and interior architecture, since 1988 (so-called because it was formerly in the outbuildings of the Hôtel Camondo).
The art and craft workshops known as the Ateliers du Carrousel operate on all three sites.
ABOUT AGENCE FRANCE-MUSÉUMS
Created in 2007 following the intergovernmental agreement between Abu Dhabi and France, Agence France-Muséums has been for 10 years a key link between France and the UAE in the accomplishment of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
By gathering for the first time the collections and the expertise of the French cultural institutions involved, AFM has provided since its creation assistance and expertise to the authorities of the United Arab Emirates in the following areas: definition of the scientific and cultural programme, assistance in project management for architecture including museography, signage and multimedia projects, coordination of the loans from French collections and organization of temporary exhibitions, guidance with the creation of a permanent collection, and support with the museum’s policy on visitors.
AFM now continues its missions for Louvre Abu Dhabi after its opening with the training of the museum’s professionals, the coordination of loans from French museums for 10 years and the organisation of temporary exhibitions for 15 years.
Agence France-Muséums brings together the Louvre Abu Dhabi partner institutions: Musée du Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Réunion des Musées Nationaux et du Grand Palais (RMN-GP), Château de Versailles, Musée national des arts asiatiques-Guimet, Musée de Cluny – musée national du Moyen-Âge, École du Louvre, Musée Rodin, Domaine National de Chambord, Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD), Cité de la Céramique – Sèvres & Limoges, Musée d’Archéologie nationale – Saint-Germain en Laye, Château de Fontainebleau, and OPPIC (Opérateur du patrimoine et des projets immobiliers de la culture).
Tryano is a concept department store offering exceptional experiences through a carefully curated edit of international and regional luxury, fashion and beauty brands. Tryano’s award winning design invites its guests to journey through a seasonal garden of imagination exploring thousands of innovative products in over 15,000 sqm of retail space across the beauty, handbags, shoes, jewelry, children’s apparel and women’s and men's ready-to-wear categories. Anchoring Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi and available online, Tryano offers an extensive array of distinctive services including concierge, complimentary valet parking, VIP lounge, home shopping, and home delivery.
ABOUT SAADIYAT CULTURAL DISTRICT
Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, is devoted to culture and the arts. An ambitious cultural undertaking for the 21st century, it will be a nucleus for global culture, attracting local, regional and international guests with unique exhibitions, permanent collections, productions and performances. Its groundbreaking buildings will form a historical statement of the finest 21st century architecture; Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. These museums will complement and collaborate with local and regional arts and cultural institutions including universities and research centres.
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE AND TOURISM – ABU DHABI
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The Department manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The Department of Culture and Tourism supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key role played by the Department is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.© Press Release 2019
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