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Modern Art In The Arab World:

Primary Documents

A pioneering new volume from the Museum of Modern Arts Primary Documents series. The publication includes manifestos, essays, transcripts of round table discussions, diary entries, exhibition guest-book comments, letters, and more – many of which appear here for the first time in English.

The publication offers an unprecedented resource for the study of modernism: a compendium of critical art writings by twentieth-century Arab intellectuals and artists. Traversing empires and nation-states, diasporas and speculative cultural and political federations, the book’s documents bring light to the formation of a global modernism, through debates on originality, public space,spiritualism and art, postcolonial exhibition politics, and Arab nationalism, among many other topics. The collection is framed chronologically, and includes contextualizing commentaries to assist readers in navigating its broad geographic and historical scope. Interspersed throughout the volume are sixteen contemporary essays: writings by scholars on key terms and events as well as personal reflections by modern artists who were themselves active in the histories under consideration. 

Excerpts from the book, via Post at MoMA


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Part of Misk Art Institute’s commitment to support the appreciation and documentation of Arab art from the modern period, recognizing it as the essential foundations for contemporary development.

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