Set to be part of a thriving community of cultural institutions in Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is the latest installment in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation‘s international constellation of museums. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be the region’s pre-eminent museum dedicated to global modern and contemporary art and programming.
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will foster cultural exchange with a mission to contribute to and stimulate expansive perspectives on the history of art. Presenting a global collection with a specific focus on West Asia, North Africa, and South Asia (WANASA), Guggenheim Abu Dhabi fosters a deeper understanding of how different art perspectives have shaped the interconnected histories and cultures of our time. With both Emirati and regional experts playing a key role in the development of the museum’s collection and programmes, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will provide a first-of-its-kind platform for artists from the UAE and the Gulf, the WANASA region and the world to create commissioned works and engage with global audiences.
H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Guggenheim Abu Dhabi advances Abu Dhabi’s position as a dynamic centre for arts and culture. The region’s pre-eminent museum of global modern and contemporary art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will present an equitable platform for art from all over the world. The museum will also play a civic role through its mission to spark wider interest in global modern and contemporary art, fostering diversity and inclusion in a meaningful cultural exchange. As we move forward with our plans, it is crucial to recognise the impact of this museum in realising our vision for the Emirate’s culture and creative industries. Investing in these industries is pivotal to the economic development of our Emirate, and to our contribution to the global art world. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, along with other cultural institutions such as Louvre Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum, will undoubtedly contribute significantly to a thriving creative scene.”
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is being established and developed by DCT Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The museum is set to be the largest and most expansive of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s constellation of museums, which includes the Guggenheim Museum in New York designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim Bilbao designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in Venice.
Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation stated: “Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone in the realisation of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a landmark new museum. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, housed in Frank Gehry’s distinctive building, will be home to an expansive and evolving collection of artworks that advance multiple perspectives on the global histories of modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on art from West Asia, North Africa, and South Asia. Abu Dhabi is a vibrant and diverse cultural centre with a global outlook and rapidly growing creative economy, making it the ideal location for a new international museum. We are grateful to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, our partners in this bold collaboration. It is with great enthusiasm that we look forward to sharing the museum’s collection, programming, and building with the public at the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.”
Frank Gehry, commented: “It is truly thrilling to see this project enter into this new phase. I am immensely proud to work closely with our partners, DCT Abu Dhabi and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, to create a home for their ground-breaking cultural program. I hope that this building is embraced by the people of the UAE and that this work will endure as a landmark for the country for many years to come.”
As part of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s commitment to support artists in the region, the museum has been curating and delivering engaging public programming for its audiences since its inception. This includes three exhibitions held in Abu Dhabi featuring select works from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection in a bid to represent the future museum’s curatorial vision. In addition, the museum organised a dynamic public programme highlighting contemporary artists from around the world. Most recently, the museum launched its ‘Spotlight’ video series on the Abu Dhabi Culture social media platforms, which explores a selection of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi works on loan across the world.
Located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, the museum will be an architectural landmark inspired by the vernacular architecture of the UAE and the region. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be a part of Abu Dhabi’s growing network of cultural institutions, including Louvre Abu Dhabi, New York University, Manarat Al Saadiyat and the Cultural Foundation. Upcoming cultural institutions set to join the Saadiyat Cultural District include Zayed National Museum dedicated to celebrating the life and achievements of the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the Abrahamic Family House, a multi-faith place of worship.