Palestinian Museum’s first satellite show opens in Beirut

1970s-Dress-from-At-the-Seams.-Photo-Christian-Moussa-for-The-Palestinian-Museum
1970s Dress from At the Seams. Photo: Christian Moussa for The Palestinian Museum. Courtesy of Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture.

The Palestinian Museum’s first satellite show is opened on 25 May at Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture, a new art space in Beirut.

At the Seams: a Political History of Palestinian Embroidery (until 30 July) reveals the activist side of fashion in Palestine. The exhibition presents more than 50 garments from the extensive Widad Kawar and Malak al-Husseini Abdulrahim collections of Arab dress. The dresses are accompanied by a number of photographs, posters and paintings, some of which are from the El-Nimer collection, as well as video interviews documenting the craft.

Abdulrahman-al-Muzzayen,-Salam,-1978,-oil-on-canvas,-82.5-x-62.5cm-from-the-collection-of-Rula-Alami.-Photo-Christian-Moussa-for-The-Palestinian-Museum
Abdulrahman al-Muzzayen, Salam, 1978. Oil on canvas. 82.5 x 62.5cm. From the collection of Rula Alami. Photo: Christian Moussa for The Palestinian Museum. Courtesy of Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture.

Also on display will be a number of rarely exhibited ‘intifada dresses’. These are a style of dress specifically designed to promote the First Intifada in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They include nationalist motifs including the flag and map of Palestine.

Intifada-Dresses-from-At-the-Seams.-Photo-Christian-Moussa-for-The-Palestinian-Museum
Installation view of the Intifada dresses from At the Seams. Photo: Christian Moussa for The Palestinian Museum. Courtesy of Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture.

The exhibition’s curator Rachel Dedman travelled across Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan to research the show, meeting and interviewing over 50 male and female embroiderers. A new publication, launching in Beirut on 15 June, will include her original research into the history of embroidery-producing organisations from 1925 to 2015.

At the Seams is the first exhibition at Dar El-Nimer, which opened on 11 May in west Beirut. Its founder, Rami El-Nimer, says that the foundation’s collaboration with the Palestinian Museum was “a symbolic gesture” and part of its mission to recognise Palestinian heritage and community.

Contemporary-Embroidery-from-At-the-Seams.-Photo-Christian-Moussa-for-The-Palestinian-Museum
Contemporary Embroidery from At the Seams. Photo: Christian Moussa for The Palestinian Museum. Courtesy of Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture.

Dar El-Nimer will offer its space for a variety of cultural events and exhibitions but will also draw from its own collection of Islamic art and Orientalist painting as well as Modern and contemporary art from the Middle East.

Midad: a Journey Through the Arabic Script is the first show from El-Nimer’s collection of around 2,500 items. It will open in January 2017 and is currently being researched by Alain George, an Islamic art historian and University of Edinburgh professor.

The Palestinian Museum is in the town of Birzeit, north of Jerusalem. Inaugurated on 18 May, the $30m museum has 3,500 sq. m of exhibition and educational space, and focuses on the history and culture of Palestine from 1750 to the present.

 

Originally posted on The Art Newspaper.

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