Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first photography exhibition opens on April 25
March 31, 2019 | 2:43 PM
by Times News Service
Jules Borelli. Photo credit: ©musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, Dist. RMN

Abu Dhabi: Louvre Abu Dhabi’s second international exhibition in 2019 will explore the development of photography in its first years of existence.

'Photographs 1842 – 1896: An Early Album of the World' will include images taken in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and Agence France-Muséums, and sponsored by the Bank of Sharjah, the exhibition will track the dissemination of photography as a form of documentation and an instrument of discovering and understanding the world and its people, through a wide selection of over 250 historic photographs taken between 1842 and 1896.

The works on show mainly originate from musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac’s collection, which includes some of the earliest photographs produced outside Europe. They will be complemented by several exceptional loans from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, Musée d’Orsay, la Société de Géographie and La Cité de la Céramique – Sèvres & Limoges.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, “Photography is one of the most important tools that has contributed to documenting the history of the world and its diverse cultures. In order to showcase part of our inspiring human heritage, we present the exhibition Photographs 1842 – 1896: An Early Album of the World at Louvre Abu Dhabi.

"The exhibition is yet another example of the richness of Abu Dhabi’s cultural scene, which is a mix of the world’s cultures and arts, making Abu Dhabi a cultural destination for visitors from around the world. When visiting Louvre Abu Dhabi this summer, visitors will be able to travel to new places and explore different regions of the world through the eyes of 19th Century European travellers in the museum’s first-ever photography exhibition,” he added.

Photography was invented in 1839 at a time when several European nations were expanding their colonial empires into territories in Africa, Asia, America and the Middle East. Subsequently, photography crossed the borders of Europe, accompanying religious missions, scientific, diplomatic and military expeditions and even individual travellers.

While the photographs replicate the gaze of the artist or adventurer, it will also highlight the appropriation of various photographic practices at a local level, and notably by social and political elites. Visitors will be able to discover works by prominent international photographers, including Luis Garcia Hevia from Colombia, the Abdullah brothers and Pascal Sebah from Turkey, Lala Deen Dayal from India, Marc Ferrez from Brazil, Lai Fong from China, Kassian Cephas from Indonesia, Alexandre Michon and Nikolai Charushin from Russia, Francis Chit from Thaïland, as well as Ichida Sôta and Suzuki Shin'ichi II from Japan.

Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, stated, “We are looking forward to Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first photography exhibition, which will be part of our cultural season ‘A World of Exchanges’.

"Photographs 1842 – 1896: An Early Album of the World explores the role of photography in enabling the sharing of photographs from around the world, documenting peoples’ lives and environments. Pioneering photographers played a key role in making other cultures visible and accessible to people back home, the same way our audiences record their daily experiences to share them with their family, friends and online communities,” he added.

Alongside the exhibition, Louvre Abu Dhabi will host a range of educational and cultural activities around the topic of photography, including workshops, four film screenings, a conference and a cine-concert entitled 'In the Land of the Head Hunters' on the exhibition’s opening weekend.

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