Louvre to showcase 10,000 years of luxury
Louvre Abu Dhabi will present 10,000 Years of Luxury, a ground-breaking exhibition that explores the history of luxury for the first time in the Middle East.
Organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Agence France-Muséums, the exhibition that will open on October 30 features approximately 350 objects including fashion, jewellery, visual art, furniture and design, and explores how luxury has been defined by diverse cultures from antiquity to the present day.
Curated by Olivier Gabet, director of Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the exhibition draws primarily from the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and other French, international and local institutions.
It also displays works from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection and offers a rare chance to revel in and evaluate our ever-changing fascination with luxury.
The exhibition exemplifies Louvre Abu Dhabi’s 2019/2020 season, Changing Societies, which focuses on how culture and creativity reflect major shifts in civilisations.
“The exhibition considers luxury as a vehicle for understanding the social, economic and political circumstances of a specific time period, as well as how notions of value have evolved throughout history,” said Louvre Abu Dhabi officials.
Works range from a Mamluk carpet from Egypt dating back to the 15th century to an hourglass by Australian designer Marc Newson. The luxury of fashion is highlighted with both vintage and contemporary creations by iconic fashion designers: Balenciaga, CHANEL, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Karl Lagerfeld, Azzedine Alaïa, Maison Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès and more.
Manuel Rabaté, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “In this exhibition, we are exploring humanity’s connection to luxury across time and cultures, taking a long lens on the subject from ancient treasures to present-day haute couture. This approach is consistent with Louvre Abu Dhabi’s universal narrative. We are grateful to our main partner Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the many institutions, including haute couture icons, who have contributed exceptional pieces to this wonderful story of luxury.”
Olivier Gabet, director of Musée des Arts Décoratifs, added: “Luxury is everywhere in our world today – surrounding us in objects, images and language. This exhibition gathers rare artefacts kept in French National Collections, and precious archaeological pieces recently unveiled in Abu Dhabi. It will offer a new way of understanding the notion of luxury and its historical roots.”
The programme will offer a talk on 10,000 Years of Luxury by Olivier Gabet, as well as a selection of film screenings chosen by Emirati artist Hind Mezaina.