• 10,000 Years Of Luxury in partnership with Musée des Arts Décoratifs;
  • Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West, in partnership with Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge;
  • Charlie Chaplin: When Art Met Cinema, in partnership with Musée d’arts de Nantes.
  • Alongside Louvre Abu Dhabi’s upcoming exhibitions and public programme for its 2019/2020 Season, the museum’s permanent galleries will showcase new masterpieces as a part of its annual rotation of loans, including a major installation by contemporary artist Susanna Fritscher

Louvre Abu Dhabi © Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi Photo by Hufton + Crow

Abu Dhabi: Louvre Abu Dhabi’s 2019/20 season will launch in September and includes four exhibitions to explore how the arts have channelled and acted as a witness to society throughout history, as well as an accompanying programme that includes live performances, world-renowned installations, music, poetry and family events.

Commenting on the new season announcement, Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, stated: “Our new and exciting season is designed to pioneer different ways to engage the museum’s diverse audiences, offering them innovative experiences and a deeper understanding of the universal themes presented in our permanent galleries. This upcoming season entitled Changing Societies represents our boldest and most extensive programme to date. Supported by our incredible network of international partners, we are able to bring exhibitions of a quality and scale that are unparalleled in the region.’’

Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi, added: “Louvre Abu Dhabi’s cultural seasons offer an opportunity to further explore key historical and aesthetic episodes in history from our unique Universal perspective, often re-examining the ways in which mutual discovery and appreciation have always informed human history. In Changing Societies, our main objective is to shed light on how culture and creativity have acted as a manifestation of shifts and changes in society and civilisations.”

A Costume Adventure, a new interactive space in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Children’s Museum opening on 9 July 2019, will enable the museum’s youngest art enthusiasts to dive into the wardrobes of history and learn about the costumes of characters found in some of the museum’s artworks.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s public programme for the season introduces a thematic, line-up curated by Ruth Mackenzie, CBE, Artistic Director Theatre du Chatelet and formerly Artistic Director of Holland Festival and London 2012 Festival (the official cultural programme for the London Olympic Games) who said: “Louvre Abu Dhabi is an internationally renowned project, redefining the role of museums through engagement with local and international artists and communities. I am honoured to be given the chance to work in one of the most fascinating regions in the world to create a programme inspired by Louvre Abu Dhabi’s season Changing Societies. Our starting point for the programming, from Intangible Heritage through to a Digital Future, allows us to develop our own creativity by working with traditional and contemporary artists in the museum and online, celebrating shared intangible heritages and the innovation of our contemporary cultures. The programme is for everyone but we are especially keen to work with local audiences and with young people from around the world.”

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s 2019/20 international exhibitions include:

For the first time in the Middle East, Rendezvous in Paris: Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani & Co. (1900-1939) (September 18, 2019 – December 7, 2019), held in partnership with Centre Pompidou, will allow visitors to discover the Paris of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ – a Bohemian hub for artists from across Europe, many of whom left their home countries in search of a place where they could truly and safely express themselves. Inspired by the city, this group of artists came together at a moment of extraordinary creativity to produce some of the most innovative art of the 20th century. Presenting more than 80 works, which are being exhibited for the first time in the Middle East, the exhibition will include masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani, Sonia Delaunay, Giorgio De Chirico, Juan Gris, Constantin Brancusi, Tamara de Lempicka, Brassaï and others. Organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, Centre Pompidou and Agence France-Muséums, the exhibition is curated by Christian Briend, Head Curator, Modern Art Collection, Centre Pompidou, assisted by Anna Hiddleston, Assistant Curator, Modern Art, Centre Pompidou.


Inspired by Picasso’s Cubist artworks and the poetry of Jean Cocteau and Guillaume Apollinaire, the exhibition will launch with an exciting cultural programme as Cubism is brought to life across the museum.

Between 18-21 September, visitors will be able to encounter ‘living machines’ which will roam the museum; and be amazed by choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her STREB Extreme Action Troupe who will combine acrobatics, circus arts and contemporary dance to give a spectacular performance on giant machines.

Other highlights include a September Family Weekend on 27-28 September with workshops inspired by Picasso and Cocteau. The programme also includes a series of film screenings curated by Emirati artist Hind Mezaina and a talk by the exhibition curator, Christian Briend.

The cultural programme around the exhibition will conclude with an electro-night hosted with Abu Dhabi label Boogie Box on 21 November, with live sets from UAE-based and legendary international DJs playing on cubism-inspired visuals lighting the facades and the iconic dome of the museum. Amon Tobin and his Two Fingers DJ Set, Molecule Live and Boogie Box DJs, Hassan Alwan and Tristan Girault will perform in the open air under Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome.

10,000 Years of Luxury (October 30, 2019 – February 15, 2020)

Another ground-breaking exhibition in the Middle East, 10,000 Years of Luxury, will, for the first time in the region, explore the history of luxury. Featuring 350 extraordinary objects from the fields of fashion, jewellery, art, furniture and design, the show will look at the various ways luxury has been interpreted by diverse cultures throughout history: from extravagant offerings for the divine, to golden furniture fit for royalty and the iconic couture of fashion houses and virtuoso objects of luxury houses, as Christian Dior, Chanel, Cartier, Balenciaga and Hermès. The exhibition shows how different cultures have defined luxury and the impact of such excess on the evolution of society, as a way to undermine or underline the status quo. It explores the prominent role of women in defining luxury, the ebb and flow between excess and moderation as well as notions of what elevates an object to the realm of precious - be it time, craftsmanship, or rarity. Drawing on the collections of Musée des Arts Décoratifs and other French museums, this exhibition offers a rare chance to glimpse, revel in, and evaluate true luxury. Organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Agence France-Muséums, the exhibition is curated by Olivier Gabet, Director of Musée des Arts Décoratifs. 


Inspired by this exhibition, Louvre Abu Dhabi will work with performers and artists to create priceless experiences with the theme ‘luxuries are what money can’t buy’. Part of this will celebrate the place of the Diva in the history of popular music through concerts led by local and international singers offering tributes to the great divas Umm Kulthum and Fairuz as well as exploring the idea of the diva today.  The programme exemplifies a constant concept in the history of luxury, with the Diva as an objectified example of an intangible heritage form which moves through history from the exclusive world of the elite to the contemporary world of digital access and mass consumption.

Alongside the exhibition 10,000 Years of Luxury, Louvre Abu Dhabi presents the olfactory art installation; USO - The Perfumed Cloud (USO = Unidentified Scented Object) from 30 October to 1 February 2020, created by Maison Cartier’s in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent with Transsolar KlimaEngineering. Continuing the museum’s mission to offer innovative experiences, this installation offers a magical sensory journey into a perfumed cloud.

Step into a transparent glass cube over water and under the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s spectacular dome, climb the spiral stairs and feel the change in temperature as you ascend to a floating scented cloud.

The first ever immersive installation of its kind in the Middle East, USO combines ethereal architecture, the senses and climate technology. 

Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West (February 19, 2020 – May 30, 2020)

The exhibition explores a unique and extraordinary link, where furusiyya in the East meets Chivalry in the West, and how these distinct practices of combat and knightly values led to a specific social class and culture in the Islamic East and largely Christian West. Tales of knightly culture have been told throughout history – of brave heroes fighting for their sovereign, their religion and their honour; stories of war, loss, comradery and courtly love, are told through 130 rare artworks, most of them seen in the region for the first time. The exhibition is organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen-Âge and Agence France-Muséums and is curated by Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, Director and Head Curator of Musée de Cluny – Musée national du MoyenÂge; and Co-Curators Dr. Carine Juvin, Curator of Department of Islamic Art, Musée du Louvre and Michel Huynh, Head Curator, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du MoyenÂge. 


A cultural programme inspired by and exploring the Middle Ages from an inherently Islamic point of view will include Trio Joubran, performers celebrating the ancient cross cultural  family of Lute-like string instruments with music dating from the Middle Ages as well as contemporary compositions. Immersive, family-focused events allow visitors to travel back in time and experience the lifestyle of this period in history, from traditional music, poetry and clothes, live performances of traditional instruments, conferences, activations and more. 

Charlie Chaplin: When Art Met Cinema (April 15, 2020 – July 11, 2020)

Discover the connection between the great Charlie Chaplin films and the artistic creations of avant-garde artists of the time, including Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger and František Kupka, artists at the centre of modern art movements such as Constructivism, Surrealism and Dadaism. Featuring around 100 paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, archives and film scenes, the exhibition reveals the relationship between Chaplin’s work and those of his contemporaries who constantly addressed, each in their own way, the rapidly changing world of the first half of the twentieth century. The exhibition is organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Musée d’arts de Nantes and Agence France-Muséums and is curated by Claire Lebossé, Curator of the collections of modern art, Musée d’arts de Nantes, France.


The cultural programme exploring the connection between art and cinema investigates how practitioners in the visual and performing arts have used silent film as a source of inspiration. The museum will mark the exhibition opening with a subtle blend of art, comedy, circus, dance, classical music and philosophy based on the question of time. A highlight will be Yoann Bourgeois and his short, poetic mime art performances that are a tribute to Charlie Chaplin, revisiting concepts of time, the absurd and contemplation.

In the Galleries – from September

As a part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s annual rotation, new masterpieces from the museum’s international partners will go on show in the permanent galleries. Highlights of archaeological artefacts include the depiction of the People’s subject to the King of Egypt on the base of a statue of Nectanebo II (358-341 BCE), the Head of a chevalier in armour (ca. 1300 CE) from France as well as an Emesus vase from the end of the 6th century to the beginning of the 7th century CE Syria, all on loan from Musée du Louvre. Following its unveiling in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s international exhibition Rembrandt, Vermeer and the Dutch Golden Age, the museum’s acquisition, Rembrandt’sHead of a Young Man, with Clasped Hands: Study of the Figure of Christ, from ca. 1648-56, will be installed in the permanent galleries related to the early modern period, alongside the portrait of Francis the First, King of France (1539 CE) by Tiziano Vecellio (Titian), on loan from Musée du Louvre, and an Imperial armour from 18th century China, on loan from Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Other major loans for the early modern period include Francesco Primaticcio’s Laoccon (c.1504-1570) on loan from Château de Fontainebleau,  Paul Petrovith Cabaret (France, 1773) on loan from Cité de la céramique – Sèvres, Chinese imperial jades from the Qianlong era (imperial seal, scepter Ruyi, two inscribed plates) on loan from Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet and finally Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun’s Portrait of Countess Skavronskaia (1761-1829), Lady of Honor of Catherine II, Empress of Russia on loan from musée du Louvre.

A major rehang of the final galleries will feature a section of faces dedicated to the ‘gaze’ and most importantly, the perspectives of people from traditional societies from all over the world. Reflecting on the transition of art once being a snapshot of society and collected by scholars and individuals who created the first ethnological museums, it will explore the transition of aesthetics moving to a function as art for the sake of ‘art’. The scenography for this new installation will be executed by Jean Nouvel.

New to the modern and contemporary galleries of the museum will be Édouard Manet’s well-known portrait of Berthe Morisot with bouquet of violets (1872) from the Musée d’Orsay and a dance mask from Central Africa (c. 1970), from Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. A large sculpture, Untitled by Anish Kapoor (2008), and Max Ernst’s Ubu Imperator (1923), both on loan from the Centre Pompidou, will also be on display. In the final gallery, Louvre Abu Dhabi will showcase an immersive installation by contemporary artist Susanna Fritscher, entitled Für die Luft; on loan from Centre Pompidou and created specifically for Louvre Abu Dhabi’s unique architecture and the natural play of light that pervades the room.

As part of the regular programming, the museum continues to offer a range of activities and programmes to explore in new ways, the museum, its collection, and its exhibitions. These include guided tours, workshops (as well as interactive digital workshops), digital commissions, master classes, conferences and talks, film screenings, family weekends, and also architectural kayaking tours.

Entrance to the exhibitions and the Children’s Museum is free with the museum’s admission ticket (AED 63). Admission is free for children under the age of 13.

For more information on the exhibition or ticket bookings, please visit www.louvreabudhabi.ae or call Louvre Abu Dhabi at +971 600 56 55 66.

© Press Release 2019

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