Louvre Abu Dhabi is located on Saadiyat Island Image Credit: Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/Mohamed Alalawi

Abu Dhabi: The iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi museum has announced that visitors can enjoy five new major exhibitions over the course of its upcoming 2023-2024 cultural season, starting this summer.

The upcoming exhibitions will further Louvre Abu Dhabi’s mission to showcase stories of artistic and cultural connections around the globe, as well as provide a platform for local and regional artists to showcase their talent. To engage and connect with its community, the museum will also offer a range of cultural programming and events, such as performances, master classes, health and wellness offerings, curatorial talks, and more.

Manuel Rabate, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “As a universal museum, our mission has always centred around providing an inclusive and engaging space where a plethora of voices, ideas, and stories are told. From our exhibitions to new artworks, to novel and returning experiences – there is much to look forward to this cultural season at Louvre Abu Dhabi.”

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Dr Souraya Noujaim, scientific, curatorial and collections management director at the museum, said: “Since our inception, we have always celebrated stories of cultural connections, providing visitors of all ages and backgrounds with an opportunity to explore a world of wonder through art. This cultural season, we are offering a diverse range of exhibitions and programmes that celebrate the shared creativity of humanity.”

Picturing the Cosmos, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Children’s Museum: July 18, 2023 – June 2025

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s latest ‘edutaining’ children’s exhibition will be Picturing the Cosmos, taking children on a journey through the infinity of space via its various representations in art across time and cultures.

The exhibition will address questions, such as ‘Why have humans always been fascinated by the cosmos?’ and ‘How has the sky been a source of inspiration and imagination through ages?’.

Children will embark on a mission to develop their observational and analytical skills needed to become a space explorer.

Letters of Light: September 13, 2023 – January 14, 2024

Held in partnership with Bibliothèque nationale de France and France Muséums, the Letters of Light exhibition will spotlight the Holy Books of the three Abrahamic religions – the Quran, the Christian Bible (Old and New Testaments) and the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh).

Curated by Laurent Héricher, chief curator and head of oriental manuscripts department at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and Dr Souraya Noujaim, scientific, curatorial and collections management director at Louvre Abu Dhabi, the exhibition will explore the historical context in which the holy books emerged, their associated scholarly, talismanic, and mystical practices and their essential role in intellectual and artistic history.

Fostering a dialogue between the monotheistic traditions while respecting the unique characteristics of each, there will be an emphasis on the universal nature of the biblical, evangelical, and Quranic messages and the ethical dimension they possess by highlighting episodes and figures that are shared by all three.

Cartier, Islamic Inspiration and Modern Design: November 15, 2023 to March 24, 2024

Cartier, Islamic Inspiration and Modern Design exhibition is co-organised with the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Musée du Louvre, France Muséums, with the support of Cartier. This exhibition is based on a project that was initially conceived and co-organised by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs titled Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity.

The exhibition will highlight the influence of the Islamic arts on Cartier’s design from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. Co-curated by Évelyne Possémé, former chief curator of ancient and modern jewellery at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and Judith Hénon-Raynaud, curator and deputy director of the Department of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre, the exhibition will present more than 500 pieces, from jewellery and masterpieces of Islamic art to drawings, books, photographs, and archival documents.

This edition at Louvre Abu Dhabi is a reinterpretation of a travelling exhibition that was initially displayed in 2022 at Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Dallas Museum of Art, with the support of Cartier.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2023: November 21, 2023 – February 2024

Louvre Abu Dhabi and Swiss watchmaking brand Richard Mille will hold the third edition of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here exhibition and the accompanying Richard Mille Art Prize, under the theme ‘Transparencies’ and curated by Maya El Khalil.

Taking place outdoors and under the dome for the first time, Art Here 2023 will provide artists the opportunity to present their work within one of the most extraordinary museum settings and one winner will be selected to win the Richard Mille Art Prize. Entries are welcome from UAE and GCC-based contemporary artists, with the open call for submissions ending on 31 May 2023.

Fables from East and West: from Kalila wa Dimna to the Fables of La Fontaine: March 20, 2024 – July 14, 2024

The literary genre of animal fables, which first originated in India and Greece in the first century BCE, was spearheaded by Ibn al-Muqaffa‘ in the Arab-Islamic world and Aesop in the Greco-Roman world. Over millennia, fables have continually transformed and adapted from one language to another, resulting in many new works being created in both the East and West.

Organised in partnership with Bibliothèque nationale de France and France Muséums, Fables from East and West will examine the roots and evolution of this genre through a showcase of illustrated manuscripts, paintings, contemporary works and more.