Museum of Modern Egyptian Art (aka Gezira Center for Modern Art)
The Museum of Modern Egyptian Art is also known as the Gezira Center for Modern Art and the Egyptian Modern Art Museum. It is a part of the National Cultural Center, along with the Cairo Opera House, and it is located on the same grounds as the opera house, on a Nile River island known as Gezira Island. Because modern art does not appeal to everyone, we generally do not include this museum in our Cairo tour packages, although it can be included upon request.
Many people have described the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art as being the sort of art museum anyone can enjoy, even if they are not particularly interested in art. One of the reasons for this is because of its location, in that the opera house grounds are a great place to go for a relaxing stroll away from the craziness of the city.
There are approximately 10,000 paintings and statues on display at the museum, all of which do an excellent job at showcasing the phenomenal growth of the art movement in Egypt from the early 20th century to the present day. The museum also has a spectacular permanent collection of works done by several of Egypt’s most highly regarded artists, including names such as Mahmoud Sa’id; Amed Morsi; Ragheb Ayad, and several others.
Why Visit the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art?
Most people who visit Egypt only get to spend a very brief spell in the country, and as a result, they don’t really get to see beyond all of top and most popular Cairo tourist attractions; a chance to see into the hearts and minds of average working class Egyptians.
Several political events which have unfolded in the country since the early 20th-century have had a significant effect on the lives of the Egyptian people, and t is quite literally amazing to what extent this can be seen when you look at some of the art which is on display at the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art.
For example, there’s a striking painting of a tormented man who is obviously desperate to find employment so that he can provide for his family, and it is no coincidence that this painting was done in 1989, a time when unemployment in Egypt was spiraling out of control. Another similar painting is that of a skeletal man huddled behind an empty can of fish.
It is hardly surprising then that numerous works of art reflect on various political events, including skirmishes and etc. In short, a visit to the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art is in many ways similar to having a truly meaningful history lesson.
Despite having such a vast collection of paintings and statues on display, the museum in no way comes across as being overcrowded. Each piece has its own private little area, with ample space between one piece and the next. As is to be expected, you are likely to seen quite a few students at the museum, and particularly art students.
Many foreigners don’t fully appreciate Egypt’s place in the world of art, despite the fact that several great artists have hailed from Egypt. Art is very much enjoyed and appreciated in Egypt, with tens of thousands of Egyptian children finding their way into art even when their families can’t afford to pay for art lessons. As many people will agree with, art does not come from wealth or education; it comes from the mind, heart and soul.
While you may not see the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art featured in many of our Cairo tour packages or our more extensive Egypt tour packages, we do however highly recommend this attraction for anyone who is interested in art, and particularly modern Egyptian art. The museum houses numerous works done by some of the biggest names in the Egyptian art movement, along with a spectacular variety of works from lesser-known names, as well as works from up and coming artists.
The Museum of Modern Egyptian Art provides visitors with a great opportunity to appreciate several styles of art, displayed in a venue which in itself is a lovely place to visit while you are in Cairo.
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