Acquisitions Museums United Arab Emirates

Louvre Abu Dhabi acquires its first photographic works

Museum adds early daguerreotype of a veiled woman to its collection, along with ancient sculpture and a Gauguin

Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey's Ayoucha, 1843 (© Louvre Abu Dhabi, Photo: Agence photo F)

The Louvre Abu Dhabi has started collecting photography, making its first acquisitions in the field, including a daguerreotype by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey showing a veiled woman, Ayoucha, around 1843. The work is among the latest round of acquisitions announced by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, which is overseeing the museum project.

Other photography works entering the collection include Roger Fenton's Pasha and Bedouin, 1858, and two negatives of ancient temples by Reverand George Wilson Bridges. The Louvre Abu Dhabi has also acquired a sculpture of a Bactrian princess dating from the third millennium BC, a pavement and fountain set from the early Ottoman period, as well as the paintings Breton Boys Wrestling, 1888, by Paul Gauguin and The Subjugated Reader, 1928, by René Magritte.

The pieces will be presented during the “Louvre Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series”, an ongoing programme of public events which relaunches 3 October.

A selection of the new acquisitions will also go on display next April in an exhibition entitled “Birth of a Museum” to be held at the Manarat Al Saadiyat exhibition centre on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. The show is due to travel to the Louvre in Paris.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open on Saadiyat Island in 2015; works previously acquired include Mondrian’s Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow and Black, 1922, and Bellini’s Virgin and Child, dating from the 15th century. The Paris museum will receive €400m over 30 years from the United Arab Emirates authorities for the use of its prestigious brand name.

Roger Fentons's Pasha and Bedouin, 1858
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