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Art Jameel teams up with Metropolitan Museum of Art

Saudi-based foundation will collaborate with New York museum to acquire Middle Eastern art

By Anna Wallace-Thompson

The non-profit Saudi-based foundation Art Jameel, the organisation behind the prestigious Jameel Prize has announced its intention to expand with a permanent space in the UAE. The Jameel Arts Centre Dubai is scheduled to open at the end of 2018. In the interim, the foundation will have a presence in the Emirates via Project Space Art Jameel, a satellite branch in Alserkal Avenue, which will remain open until the centre is officially inaugurated. 

The announcement comes at a busy time of expansion at Art Jameel, which recently welcomed ex-Art Dubai fair director Antonia Carver on board as its director. It is also launching a lucrative new partnership with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The collaboration will see the Met acquire works by Middle Eastern Modern and contemporary artists for its permanent collection. To date, these include video and photographic works by the Egyptian artist Maha Maamoun. 

“Dubai has become known as the regional art market centre and is home to the leading fair, but to date has not had a complementary not-for-profit contemporary arts institution,” Carver tells The Art Newspaper. “This comes at an exciting time for Art Jameel, as we strengthen our wider mandate across the arts, heritage and education, and our programmes grow in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and elsewhere.” 

The Jameel Arts Centre, designed by Serie Architects from the UK, will encompass 10,000 sq. m across three floors. The multi-disciplinary space will house an open-access research centre and library, events space, and an outdoor sculpture area as well as various F&B outlets and a bookshop. The foundation hopes to work with “close colleagues in the GCC and wider Middle East, to pool ideas and resources, and to nurture audiences and appreciation for artists, writers, curators and their work,” says Carver.