Initiative Brings Arab Art to New York Museums

Mohamad Hafez, in his studio. His works will be part of a Brooklyn Museum exhibition dedicated to Syrian art.CreditCreditCole Wilson for The New York Times

While President Trump’s travel ban closed the country’s doors to those from some Arab countries, like Syria and Yemen, the Metropolitan Museum and other major New York institutions are taking the opposite tack. This fall, they will participate in the Arab Art and Education Initiative, a season of programming that celebrates Arab culture through art exhibitions, films and interviews.

The most extensive exhibition will take place at the Brooklyn Museum. Their show, “Syria, Then and Now: Stories from Refugees a Century Apart,” will run from Oct. 13 through Jan. 13, and present artifacts from medieval Raqqa alongside works by contemporary artists in response to the current refugee crisis. The artists presented include Mohamad Hafez, who creates tiny, war-torn urban edifices; and Issam Kourbaj, who created an installation of a scaled-down view of refugee camp in 2015.


Andrew R. Chow


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