'Globes: Visions of the World' curated by Bibliotheque nationale de France, BnF, will open to the public on 23rd March and run until 2nd June 2018 at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Louvre Abu Dhabi’s second special exhibition will explore the history of the spherical representation of the world and its scientific instruments from antiquity to the present day. A hundred and sixty works from the collections of BnF and outstanding loaned works will be on display.
More than 40 globes and spheres, rare archaeological remains, magnificent scripts, astrolabes and splendid world maps will immerse visitors in the 2500 years’ history of representing the world. The exhibition is curated by Catherine Hofmann, Chief Curator at BnF, and Francois Nawrocki, Chief Curator and Deputy Director at Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve, Paris.
Manuel Rabate, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said, "We are delighted to host Globes: Visions of the World as Louvre Abu Dhabi’s second temporary exhibition. We are living in an age of new scientific discoveries unparalleled throughout history. Man’s perceptions of the world have been transformed by the creation of new technologies; which is why this exhibition is important to Louvre Abu Dhabi. It will introduce our guests to historical artefacts, including some of the oldest globes and astrolabes from the Islamic world, that have interconnected the world from ancient times to the present day. The collection on display echoes Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ethos to narrate the story of mankind through wonderful loans from Bibliotheque nationale de France, Musee du Louvre, Musee des arts et metiers, Chateau de Versailles and Centre Pompidou."
The curators of the exhibition, Hofmann and Nawrocki, said, "Globes: Visions of the World is not only an exceptional opportunity to show together the most precious and rare globes and spheres of the French collections, it also tells a meaningful long-term story: about the spherical visions of the universe, at the edge of astronomical and geographical sciences, religion and philosophy. These theories, born in the Mesopotamian and ancient Mediterranean world, spread and enriched by the dialogue of scholars from all regions of the world, are embodied in objects, images, representations whose forms have constantly evolved. They unveil a complex and meaningful symbolic system that evolved over time and integrated the legacy of many myths and cultures of the world. The exhibition highlights, in particular, the fundamental contributions of the Arab science, at the confluence of civilisations. That's why we are particularly pleased and proud to present it here, at Louvre Abu Dhabi, in this innovative and universal place of art, history and science."
The exhibition’s innovative scenography designed by Laurence Fontaine in spherical shapes guides the visitors into a chronological tour from Antiquity to the present day. Starting with the display of Vincenzo Coronelli’s majestic globes and Jerome Martinot’s armillary sphere, the artists Jean-Luc and Patricia Boivineau have created an artistic vision of the stars and constellations which can be seen in Abu Dhabi’s sky during the winter season.
Globes: Visions of the World will then travel to Paris, where it will be seen at BnF in Spring 2019.