Joseph Campbell was the first man to thoroughly study the similarities between mythologies from different cultures spanning space and time. The same concepts kept popping up over and over, motifs representative of basic human emotion and thoughts. Campbell entertained the idea of a collective subconscious, some sort of shared human soul inspiring artists and storytellers far and wide.
This unifying factor can be perceived in art history, retracing Campbell’s steps will allow the observer to perceive the similes. Rediscovering world art history is now easier than ever before, and can be done in a single afternoon, especially walking through the halls of the Louvre Museum at Abu Dhabi.
The Louvre is a remarkable piece of architecture, engineering prowess and curatorial vision, all the components in the building coming together to create a truly unique artistic experience. Opened in 2017, it has just reached its third anniversary, celebrating the more than two million visitors it has received since with the first short film commissioned by the museum, The Pulse of Time, which explores the history of human creativity through over 200 artworks. Narrated in three different languages, the film echoes everything that the Louvre at Abu Dhabi stands for.
“From the very inception of the museum, our mission has been to celebrate stories of cultural connections, to help visitors find common threads through art, across cultures, geographies, and time.”
The Louvre at Abu Dhabi is a marvel to just be in, the gigantic dome designed by Jean Nouvel is an amalgam of Islamic architecture of old with modern techniques to create a relevant building in the local and international context. A rain of light showers down on visitors as they walk from gallery to gallery, the exhibition rooms separated by historic time period.
Like every other establishment in the world, the Louvre had to reinvent itself in 2020 to accommodate the challenges the year presented. However the Louvre at Abu Dhabi had a marked advantage: the museum has always valued innovation and tech integration and actually this philosophy stands at its core. The Louvre at Abu Dhabi is a haven for experimental art and transgressional installations. Digital galleries and the best sanitary measures ensured the prevalence of the Louvre as a cultural bacon in the region, creating a precious space to observe historical art pieces and contemporary creations.
Prepared to continue receiving visitors inside its walls, the Louvre readied a series of outstanding collaborations for this 2021. Renewing the regional loans and furthering their international loans with art mainstays such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs’ in Paris, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is as ready as ever to surprise visitors. Beginning in February 2021, the exhibition Abstraction and Calligraphy – Towards a Universal Language opens its doors to invite visitors to discover the use of calligraphy in art, and how it has influenced human communication not only as a written media but as a visual element as well, from olden pictograms to moderns automatism.
Masterfully curated, the collections at the Louvre Abu Dhabi will take you on a journey through time and space, the connections among thousands of different civilizations and cultures evident within its sober halls, beneath the exquisite dome. Visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi and be amused by the hundreds of years of art history exhibited within its walls, an experience of excellence for the worldly gentleman.
Photos: Roland Halbe.