The American University in Cairo opened the "Arab Art in Cairo through the Historic Architectural Monuments" exhibition for a selected set of the works of the French artist Émile Prisse d'Avennes from the private collection of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohamed Al- Qasimi, member of the UAE Supreme Council and ruler of Sharjah. The celebration was attended by Richard A. Bartlett, chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT); Moataz Al Alfi, vice board chairman of the BOT; Lisa Anderson, AUC president; Bruce Ferguson, dean of The School of Humanities and Social Science; Aly Al Merri, director of Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi Center of Gulf Studies and members of the UAE Embassy in Cairo.
The exhibition includes a select set of works by the French artist d'Avennes, including rare paintings from the Arab world between the ninth and 18th centuries. The art pieces of d'Avennes reflect Muslims' way of life as well as their design of mosques, domes and ornamentation. They include decorative bindings for the Holy Quran, carpets, windows, roofs, flooring, graves, wooden doors and furniture, in addition to glass, copper and bronze objects.
The paintings included in the exhibition come from a famous French book, Achille-Constant-Théodore-Émile Prisse d'Avennes, L'Artarabed' après les monuments du Kaire, printed in Paris between 1867and 1877 in four volumes. D'Avennes was an archaeologist, architect and publicist. He died in Paris in 1879.
"The gallery situates AUC at the heart of the art community in Cairo," said Malek Khoury, chair of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts, "the Sharjah Art Gallery's position as a link point with the best art centers in the world enables AUC to introduce unique artistic practices of contemporary artists from around the world."