25 July 2022
The Khaleeji Art Museum will unveil The Zaki Nusseibeh Collection, which will exhibit more than 100 artworks from His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh’s art collection. The collection, which will be unveiled on the museum’s digital platform today at 2 PM BST /5 PM UAE Time, will mark the first time that such a large number of artworks from Nusseibeh’s collection will be exhibited to the public, and the first time that they will be made available for viewing digitally.
Nusseibeh, who served as Minister of State for Cultural and Public Diplomacy in the United Arab Emirates from 2017 to 2021, and is currently the Cultural Advisor to the President of the UAE H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as well as the Chancellor of UAE University, is one of the most avid and distinguished art collectors in the Arab Gulf States and larger Arab world, having begun collecting art when he was a student in boarding school in England in the 1950s. Initially, the young Nusseibeh collected Orientalist paintings. ‘I looked for art that spoke to me about the region I came from,’ says Nusseibeh, who was born and raised in Jerusalem. However, he started to sell much of his Orientalist art to buy MENASA art after completing his studies at the University of Cambridge in the 1960s and settling in Abu Dhabi, where he worked in the media and culture sectors. ‘I started looking at our own art –UAE, Gulf, Arab and regional– and my taste went for modern and contemporary art,’ he recalls. ‘So, I began a collection focused on this art in particular.’
Over the years, Nusseibeh has held a number of roles in the UAE and beyond. He has served on a number of public and private bodies related to the development of cultural and educational strategies in the country. He was Deputy Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage from 2006 to 2012, and a member of the Board of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture from 2012 to 2016. In that role, he contributed to the development of some of Abu Dhabi’s main cultural and art initiatives, including the Saadiyat Island Cultural District and its museums, such as the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi. In 2020, Nusseibeh was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Washington DC and to the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences by the Institut de France in Paris in 2021. His art collection currently spans approximately 700 works from the MENASA and beyond, and includes drawings, paintings, photographs, multimedia, installations, manuscripts, sculptures and precious objects by artists such as Baya Meheiddine, Sliman Mansour, Hassan Sharif, Farhad Moshiri, as well as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. Part of the collection is housed in Nusseibeh’s Al Ain residence, which serves as a private museum.
The Khaleeji Art Museum will display more than 100 paintings, drawings, photographs and mixed media works from the collection in his Al Ain home. The works, which span three centuries, reflect Nusseibeh’s art collection journey and evolved artistic outlooks, and touch on themes such as conflict, society, religion and love.
Digitising the collection, which will be available for viewers from around the world, is part of the museum’s efforts to make the art collections of collectors of the Arab Gulf States accessible. ‘There are numerous art collectors in the Gulf whose collections house treasures from the region and beyond it,’ says Manar Alhinai, the museum’s founder and director. ‘This marks the first time that we showcase works from the collection of a collector, and we are thankful to His Excellency for giving us the opportunity to do so. We look forward to digitising and exhibiting the collections of other collectors in the region in the future.’
The Khaleeji Art Museum is the first digital museum that is dedicated to exhibiting the modern and contemporary art of the Arab Gulf States, and to promoting the work of artists and photographers of the region by hosting regular digital and virtual art exhibitions, and on the ground art events, to showcase their work. It was founded by Manar and Sharifah Alhinai in May 2020, with a mission to build strong cultural bridges between the region and the world through art.
Visit www.khaleejiartmuseum.com to view the Zaki Nusseibeh Collection later today at 2 PM BST/ 5 PM UAE Time.
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