The Sharjah Art Museum, one of the main institutions in the Art Area, was inaugurated during the 3rd Sharjah International Arts Biennial in April 1997. This museum is one of the main landmarks with a total area of 111,000 sq.metres, constructed with two storeys with an underground car parking facility. It is having 68 halls of various sizes: 28 halls with an area of 52-56 sq.metres and 40 halls with 41-76 sq.metres.

All essential facilities are set up in the exhibition halls including special adjustable lighting arrangements to give maximum effect to the displayed art works. A total of 2000 such light units with 14-16 units in each hall were provided.

The halls also have art work suspension systems for hanging paintings of various weights (4 KGs on the holding device) and the other mural works whether they are photographs,ceramics, etc. The basic colour used is cream and the wall and floor colours are selected to match each other. The hall floors are covered with natural coloured carpets whereas the corridors and ceilings were decorated with gypsum works.
A specialized library with 4000 plus titles in both Arabic and English languages and audio-visual tapes on fine arts and art related subjects is set up with a reading hall and research corner. Internet facility is also provided.

Another facility is a hall for holding seminars and lectures on fine arts, equipped with audio-visual aids suitable for 100 persons. Instant translation facility is also provided in addition to a room for round table research seminars suitable for 50 persons.

In order to facilitate all activities including administration, planning, implementation, etc. the museum staff works in two shifts and the art administration office and other offices of employees are attached to the museum. The museum supervisors are available during 9 AM to 1 PM and 5 PM to 8 PM except on Monday, which is a holiday for the museum.

The cafeteria at the museum is well-equipped for serving the visitors with fast food and cold/hot drinks. Visitors can also take rest in private halls in the 1st and 2nd floors suitable also for their minor cultural conversations.

At a time nearly 80 cars can park in the underground car parking. Utmost importance is given to the security of the museum with full time protection arrangements. All halls, doors and passages are monitored through cameras which are linked to a special supervision room. The police units guarantee the direct guarding of the museum throughout the year, and the museum is insured against fire and equipped with a direct warning system linked with the central operations of Sharjah police.

Permanent exhibitions
The museum includes 8 sets of collections donated by H.H.Shaikh Dr.Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, the Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Most of these works are from European orientalists who painted the Arab Orient. These collections help in depicting the area in the past periods, which refreshes the architectural memory, the shape of cities, kinds of fashions and the state of Arabian cities. They are divided in to two categories :(a) orientalist portraying works, (b) printed works.

Collection of H.H. Shaikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council & Ruler of Sharjah :

This group includes 19 art works ( 10 oil paintings, 7 water colour paintings, 2 lithographs). All works are creations of the 18th century orientalist artists who visited the Middle East area and were fascinated by its natural environment, exotic architecture and the dynamic activities and people in their distinguished fashions with splendid colours, lights and charming nature.

12 lithographs with limited reproductions, created by the famous 18th century orientalist and engraver David Robert who has an outstanding skill in this field. These works bring out the excellent architecture and the markets with full of goods and which in general represent panoramic pictures of life in the Arabian cities in the 18th century.

A set of 13 lithographs, depicting the Qasimi resistance of the British occupation forces and their fleet in Ras Al Khaimiah. These works are a documentary series for these battles and they are considered as documents of great historical value.

The group consists of 12 water colour paintings created by artist Ali Darwish, which depicts Sharjah's historical areas including the towers, forts and castles.

It consists of 8 water colour paintings created by artist Ali Darwish depicting the old avenues, various areas of Sharjah and the marine environment in a unique style.

It consists of 10 water colour paintings: 5 depicting the landscapes of Sharjah by John Harris, and the other 5 are pencil and water colour works created by A.Richard, in which he brings out fishing, boat building and old markets.

It consists of 9 paintings, 5 of which are in acrylic colours created by artist T.T.Gilbert, depicting boat building, fishermen, fishing harbours and the famous Al-Rolla square and Al-Dhaid fort. The other four paintings are created by the artists J.C.Fraser (coffee serving), Karoline Jackson (old souk in Sharjah), Akira Fujisawa (wedding night in Sharjah) and Abdul Qader Al Rais (wind towers of Sharjah).

This group consists of 125 reproductions of lithographs. They depict old Arabian cities, important sites in the Holy land and landmarks from Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. These works are created by 18th century orientalists and they constitute research and study authority for the state of Arabs in that period.

Contemporary Exhibits
It consists over 300 art works of different categories created by several local, Arab and foreign artists, which includes the prize-winning art works of the Sharjah International Arts Biennial sessions and works collected from various exhibitions conducted at the museum during the past years.



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