Museum of Modern Egyptian Art

Museum of Modern Egyptian Art

For Egyptians, a stroll through the large museum stirs up memories of a country’s past and present, revealing a rich and dynamic culture. Across from the Cairo Opera House, where blend the music with art, in the National Cultural Centre in Gezira Island, Cairo , Egypt; Egyptian Modern Art Museum houses a vast – perhaps too vast – collection of 20th- and 21st-century Egyptian art. If you enjoy modern art, this is a worthy destination. The collection is fairly large and encompasses a wide variety of media.

The most extensive theme within the Egyptian Modern Art Museum is the display of paintings depicting Egyptian life and its history. One of the most beautiful portraits in this group, and perhaps the finest piece in the entire museum is a masterpiece by Hussein Fawzy called "Sustainable Hope" It reveals a very lovely peasant with a bright smile, whose essential optimism and strength convey to the viewer the character of all Egyptian people. Another of the finest examples is one named "Bird Seller", by Mohamed Nagy.

In it, an old woman sells her birds in a scene that speaks of the timelessness of Egypt and a theme as valid today as a century ago. Anyone wandering about the markets in Cairo may still find this old lady and her birds. The first generation of modern Egyptian artists was driven by a renewed appreciation of their national patrimony and the return to ancient pharaonic art detached from any African, Arab, or religious cultural references. In architecture and sculpture, the Neo-Pharaonic style, based on a revival of Egyptian classical art, used modern techniques and influences; in painting, it was apparentin the symbolic references derived from ancient Egypt or rural life. The first graduates from the School of Fine Arts initiated a long tradition of art education that influenced not only Egyptian artists but also other Arab artists.
Modern Art Museum in Port Said, Opposite the Opera House, Cairo and Nile Delta, Egypt
The Egyptian Museum of Modern Art now displays more than 10,000 paintings and sculptures that represent the development of the Egyptian art movement from the pioneers of the early 20th century to the contemporary art trends. In addition to telling a lot about modern Egyptian history and illustrating local trends in art, the work in the museum reflects worldwide trends. Adel al-Siwi’s expressionist masterpieces, Zeinab al-Segeny’s tales of women and children, and Salah Taher’s abstract paintings all fit into the (literal and figurative) maze of artwork on display.

Among the most celebrated artists whose works of art are displayed in the museum are :

  • Mahmoud Mokhtar: the first sculptor in the modern Egyptian art movement.
  • Mohammed Nagui: a former diplomat who advocated his life to fine arts and reflected the Egyptian milieu, traditions and cultural heritage in most of his work.
  • Youssef kamel: an impressionist artist who produced masterpieces about the Egyptian countryside and traditional markets.
  • Ragheb Ayyad: a leading Egyptian artist who innovated a new trend using colored cartoons to express his themes.
  • Ahmad Sabri: the pioneer of Egyptian portrait art.
  • Mahmoud Said: an Alexandrian artist who quit his judicial career and dedicated his efforts to enhance the Egyptian Art Movement through his new style and techniques.

Museum of Modern Egyptian Art
In the Gezira Exhibition Grounds, in Port Said, Opposite the Opera House, Cairo and Nile Delta, Cairo 11511, Egypt.
Tel: 002027366667, 02 7366665

Last Updated on Sunday 16th January 2011