Museum of Modern Egyptian Art
The Museum of Egyptian Modern Art grew from humble beginnings as Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil’s personal collection to house the world’s biggest collection; of paintings, sculptures, drawings, caricatures, and sketches; by Egyptian artisans who resided in the early twentieth century. The 15,000 exhibits trace the evolution of Egyptian art trends; from early twentieth-century pioneers to contemporary artists in the new millennium.
The large collection; which spans two levels and comprises the works of over 1,500 artists; includes not only those of internationally renowned painters, but also those of lesser-known but equally important ones. Mahmoud Mokhtar‘s marble and bronze statues stand beside masterpieces; by Mahmoud Sad, Abdel Hadi el-Gazzar, Ramsès Younan, and Inji Efflatoun, to name a few.
The museum is now undergoing renovations, and visitors can only access the first floor.
Why Visit the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art?
Most visitors to Egypt only have a short time in the country; and as a result, they don’t get to see much beyond the top and most popular Cairo tourist attractions; they don’t get a glimpse into the hearts and minds of ordinary Egyptians.
Several political events that have occurred in Egypt; during the early twentieth century have had a tremendous impact on the lives of the Egyptian people; and the level to which this can be observed when looking at some of the work on show at the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art is truly astonishing.
For example, there’s a striking painting of a distraught guy desperate to find work so he can provide for his family, and it’s no accident that this painting was created in 1989, when Egypt’s unemployment was spinning out of hand. A skeletal man hiding behind an empty can of fish is another comparable painting.
It’s not unexpected, then, that many pieces of art reflect on diverse political events, such as skirmishes and other conflicts. In short, a visit to the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art is like to receiving a thorough history lesson in many aspects.
The museum does not appear to be overcrowded, despite having such a large collection of paintings and statues on show. Each piece has its own little little room, with plenty of space between them. Students, particularly art students, are likely to be seen at the museum, as is to be anticipated.