Earliest photo of Makkah on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

The earliest image of Makkah by Sadiq Bey in 1881. (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris)
Updated 01 April 2019

Earliest photo of Makkah on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

  • The exhibition will be open from April 25 till July 13
  • It will feature images of the world from the time period between 1842 - 1896

DUBAI: A photograph of Makkah, shot by Muhammad Sadiq Bey in 1881, will be displayed in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first photography exhibition starting April 25, one of the earliest images taken in Saudi Arabia.

Photographs 1842 – 1896: An Early Album of the World will be open for visitors until July 13. It is the second international exhibition the museum will host this year.

(musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac)

The museum will display some of the earliest 250 photographs of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas, taken between 1842 and 1896, including some of the oldest photographs of Saudi Arabia and Yemen by Auguste Barthold.

Mohamed Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, said the exhibition aims to “showcase part of our inspiring human heritage.”

“Photography is one of the most important tools that has contributed to documenting the history of the world and its diverse cultures,” he added.

(musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac)

The exhibition is organized by Louvre Abu Dhabi in collaboration with musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and Agence France-Muséums, and is sponsored by the Bank of Sharjah.

Most of the images come from musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac’s collection, with some images from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, Musée d’Orsay, la Société de Géographie and La Cité de la Céramique – Sèvres & Limoges.

The museum will feature works by renowned photographers, such as Luis Garcia Hevia from Colombia, the Abdullah brothers and Pascal Sebah from Turkey, Lala Deen Dayal from India, Marc Ferrez from Brazil, Lai Fong from China, Kassian Cephas from Indonesia, Alexandre Michon and Nikolai Charushin from Russia, Francis Chit from Thailand, and Ichida Sôta and Suzuki Shin'ichi II from Japan.

(musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac)

The exhibition will be accompanied by a number of educational and cultural activities related to photography, such as workshops, film screenings, a conference and a cine-concert.

The cine-concert, In the Land of the Head Hunters, is a musical interpretation of a Native American version of Rome and Juliet silent movie by French musician Rodolphe Burger.

Visitors can enjoy a multimedia tour of the exhibition in Arabic, English and French.

What We Are Reading Today: Parisian Lives by Deirdre Bair

Updated 08 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Parisian Lives by Deirdre Bair

  • Parisian Lives “pulls you in slowly but deeply

Award-winning biographer Deirdre Bair explores her 15 remarkable years in Paris with Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir, painting intimate new portraits of two literary giants and revealing secrets of the biographical art.

Parisian Lives “pulls you in slowly but deeply. It isn’t just about writing about two famous authors but the memoir (of the) writer’s life as well and what it takes to be a biographer,” said a review published in goodreads.com. 

It said the stories relating to both Beckett and de Beauvoir “are different but equally compelling. These stories are page turners.”

The review added: “Drawing on Bair’s extensive notes from the period, including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish at the time, Parisian Lives is full of personality and warmth and give us an entirely new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.”

It said that Bair’s memoir “is the interrelated stories of writing biographies of Beckett and de Beauvoir and Bair’s own journey of discovery while launching her academic career.”