Tag Archives: art gallery Oman

Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art, Muttrah, Oman

logo of ghalyas museum

Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art, located along Muttrah Corniche, opened in January 2011 and is a must-see for all art lovers in Oman. I only became aware of this museum recently and so I wanted to share information about this impressive museum with my readers in order to encourage you to visit it for yourself. (admission-1 OR)front of museum

The museum is located near Muttrah Fort.  “This museum is a dream project of Her Highness Sayyida Dr Ghalya bint Fahr bin Taimour Al Said.”museum map

We believe that this part of the museum will prove of interest both to local Omanis, especially the young, and tourists seeking a flavour of Oman’s rich heritage during a transformative period of its history leading to the wise rule of H.M. Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said.”wedding room

The Wedding Rooms – “We enter the first of the richly adorned rooms.  Here is the bride’s mendous (wooden chest) where her dowry and other elaborate items which we see displayed around the room, would normally be kept.  Peering through the second doorway, we glimpse the magical, private world of the bride, sitting on the edge of her wedding bed to be henna-ed for her wedding ceremony from the nearby wooden stand (Mubahara).”kitchen and display rooms

The Kitchen and Display Rooms – “In the first room is a typical Omani kitchen of the time with its metal utensils, newly arrived Primus stoves, powdered milk, tinned and dried goods. Moving through to the second and third rooms, we find displayed elaborately carved doors, an old Omani cannon, African furniture and many imported and traditional items as Omanis truly explored modernisation as H.M. Sultan Qaboos took command and started the renaissance in the country.”carved door 1

I’m fascinated by these elaborately carved doors and wish they had more information on each piece.  I’m sure there’s a great story behind each one of these masterpieces.carved door 2

carved door 3

display room

Another display roommother and childrens room

The Mother and Children’s Room – “Typical of Omani houses in the early/mid 1960’s, this room is full of dolls and toys for the children to play with as mothers sewed and embroidered.  Omani women had a well-deserved reputation for their skill in making clothes, particularly in embroidering Omani dresses and caps.”old Omani dolls

majilis 1

The Majlis – Connecting the Mother and Children’s Room and the Winter Room, this room is full of some lovely pictures of Omani art.  “The Majlis (sitting room) is an example of more refined Omani residences in the 1960’s/70’s.  It is the same era in which electricity found its way to Oman, abruptly bringing Omanis into the modern age with its comparative luxury.  You can see lots of newly arrived utensils in this room.”majlis 2

The 60s was the transition between the old and the modern.  However, the transition was not as great as expected as Omani society was unable to keep abreast with modernity due to the unstable financial situation at that time.  However, goods did start to appear in Omani houses, and wealthier persons started to take an interest in culture and new technology.  In this era the telephone was introduced to Omani society.  Cars appeared too, with stretches of roads being paved.”omani painting in museum

winter room 1

The Winter Room – “This is where the Omanis treated from the cold weather.  As you can see, there are no windows, to prevent drafts and keep in the warmth.  Everybody gathers here.  Grandfather sleeps in this room on the high bed, all his belongings beside him, from books to prayer rugs.  Grandmother shares the room with him and keeps her jewelry, perfumes and accessories here.”winter room 2

The winter room is decorated with tableware from China and other Asian countries which became more commonplace at this time.”painting of muttrah past

A beautiful painting that really transports you back in time and has you imagine what Muttrah must have been like some 50 years back.painting of letter writer

old muttrah fish souk painting

Mussabbehs room

Mussabbeh’s Room – “The room describes the Omani (Musabbeh-a term, not a name!) as he abandons his village, heading to Muscat to earn a living.  As you can see, the room is a mixture of Omani artifacts and modern items, this blend of tradition and modernity creating an evocative scene.  The metal-framed bed, lantern, books, perfumes and other accessories represent the post-World War II modern life.  However, there is also gerab al-tamr ( a basket made of palm leaves used to store dates) which would have contained a full month’s supply of dates.”cool art

There is impressive art everywhere at Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art – even on the outdoor walls.design on outer wall

back gate

Even the back gate to the museum is a work of art! :-)art gallery

Art Gallery – “The art gallery presently offers an exclusive insight into the works of up-and-coming Omani artists.” Actually, it’s not only for Omani artists, but international artists as well.  The current exhibition, “Marcopolo Scultures“, is of an internationally recognized Ecuadorian artist, named “Marco Polo”.distant gaze sculpture

This piece is titled “Distant Gaze” and sold for 4,160 Omani rials!  The sculptures range in prices from 1,430 to 5,200 OR.  Don’t worry if, like me, you don’t have 4,000 rials to spend on a sculpture; you can always buy something much cheaper at the museum gift shop!gift shop

Plenty of card, gift items and souvenirs of your visit to Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art.  Don’t forget to sign the guest book!

We hope that, during this quick tour of Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art, you felt the atmosphere of these houses and their contents.”  Well, I sure did!

In an upcoming blogpost, I will show you some of the incredible murals that make up a prominent attraction of the museum known as “Wall Painting 2012 and soon to be replaced with “Wall Painting 2013” after March 31st. Many thanks to the gracious and hospitable staff of the museum who treated us like royalty (museum-coordinators, Papia Bhattacharya and Luella Almeida as well as designer, Roshani Rajapaksha) and provided all the information you see in this post in italics.  Thanks, ladies! :-)

The museum is open from 9:30am to 6pm from Saturday to Thursday. Closed on Friday.  The museum is closed on public holidays as well as days set by the Management of Museum.  Admission is 1 OR for ages 12 and up, 500 baizas for kids aged 6-12.  Tel: (968) 2471-1640, Fax: (968)2471-1620, Email: info@ghalyas-museum.com , Address: PO Box 445, PC 117, Al Wadi Khabir, Sultanate of Oman.  www.ghalyasmuseum.com

“Mystical Oman”

Under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Tarik Al Said, Bait Muzna Gallery cordially invites you to:  “Bait Muzna Gallery invites two British actors to capture the unique mystical beauty of the Sultanate of Oman through the lens of photographer Malcolm MacGregor and the watercolours of Alan Reed.  The Sultanate of Oman’s unique beauty with its diverse landscapes has inspired people to put pen and watercolor to paper, oil to canvas or cameras in ones hands.  It seems everywhere you turn, there are vibrant colors and smiling faces of those out enjoying the quiet atmosphere of this serene country.  The wild and mystical places of Oman offer a unique sense of timelessness and solitude, a rare thing in the world today, which both Malcolm McGregor and Alan Reed have recognised during their first visits to Oman.  Malcolm Mac Gregor explores the wonders of the Sultanate and captures photographs of undeniably unique landscapes and coerce them into revealing depth, thoughtfulness, beauty and poetry, whereas Alan Reed reflects and expresses the same through his watercolors.”  Alan Reed was born in Northumberland, into a family with a history of painting.  He fell in love with watercolour, arguably the most difficult of all mediums to master, at the age of 15.  Since then, he has studied the work of the great exponents of watercolour and has developed a style that is very distinctive.  To own an “Alan Reed” original watercolour is to have a piece of artwork that truly is unique.  No two originals can ever be identical as it is impossible to create the freshness and spontaneity of each individual wash.  Some brush marks are carefully thought out, others almost instinctive, the result of 25 years experience.  Since his first exhibition in 1981, Alan has built up a loyal following of faithful admirers of his paintings, which have become increasingly collectable.  A recent accolade has been the inclusion of is paintings in the new book, “Landscapes in Watercolour” by Theodora Philcox, an inspirational book which features the work of 23 leading watercolourists from around the world.  Alan Reed has been exhibiting and taking commissions for more than three decades.  His work has become increasingly collectable and is widely represented internationally through private collectors and corporate commissions.”  Alan Reed’s “Sunset Walk, Oman” (Giclee Print) RO 49 (15X10 watercolour is RO 195)  Alan Reed’s “Sunset from Wadi Darbat” (Watercolour) 40X30 RO 950  Alan Reed’s “Muttrah Corniche” (Watercolour) 35X25 RO 540  Alan Reed’s “Evening Fishing Qurm'” (Watercolour) 30X20 RO 480  Alan Reed’s “Qalhat, Qurm” (Watercolour) 20X20cm, early 2010  Alan Reed’s “Grand Mosque, Last Light” (Watercolour) 53X35cm early 2010 1500 RO  Alan Reed’s “Saluki Sunrise” (Watercolour) 30X23cm early 2010 480 RO  Alan Reed’s “Dhows, Afternoon Delight” (Watercolour) 30X23cm early 2010 (70X50 cms costs RO2750)  Alan Reed’s “Bilat Sayt” (Watercolour) 29.5cmX21cm painted in 2009  Malcolm MacGregor is a landscape photographer, based in Scotland, who specialises in photographing the more remote regions of the world.  He has travelled to many countries on assignment including Afghanistan, Africa, Asia, Georgia, the Balkans, Brittany, Iceland and the Hebridean Islands of Scotland.  But it is to Oman that he returns time and time again.  In fact, his photographic life has very much been tied up with Oman over the past ten years.  In 2000, he began photographing for his book “Wilderness Oman” made over a two year period tapping into the eclectic mix of desert, mountain and coastal landscapes from the isolated Musandam Peninsula in the north to the Empty Quarter in the south.  His genre is wilderness landscape photography, searching out aspects of nature that are unusual and off the beaten track.  Since then, he has returned almost on a yearly basis, in pursuit of Omani light.  He has witnessed many golden moments where mountains and coastline are transformed by the rising sun for a few  brief moments, before the light becomes too harsh.  It is this transformative period at dawn and dusk that he tries to capture on camera.  He has produced a portfolio “Light Over Oman” and most recently a photographic study comprising some 60 photographs called “Oman: Eloquence and Eternity”.  His work has been reviewed in many photographic magazines, such as Amateur Photographer and Outdoor Photography, Oman Today and the Oman Daily Observer.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, an Associate of the British Institute for Professional Photography and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.  The landscape photographs in this exhibition have been made over the past ten years, many of which have not been seen until now.”  The beautiful Bait Muzna Gallery.  Exhibtions are usually displayed on the top floor while prints and all kinds of artwork from local and international artists are displayed on the ground floor.  Malcolm MacGregor’s “Juniper Tree on Al Jabal Al Akhdar” (Oman, 2007, Limited to 9 Editions)  Malcolm MacGregor’s “Aeolianite Rock, Ramlat Al Wahaybah” (Oman, 2004, Limited to 9 Editions)  48X60cm RO 230  Malcolm MacGregor’s “The Coast Near Hadbin, Dhofar” (Oman 2002, Limited to 9 Editions)  Malcolm MacGregor’s “Turquoise Sea Near Yitti” (Photograph Edition 2/9 48X60cm RO 230)

Only 2 weeks left of this incredible art exhibition. (Now extended to May 8th!!!)  Get down there while you can and see/buy some amazing art!

“Faces of Oman” by Tonny Holsbergen

  “Tonny Holsbergen, born in 1952, is a well known Dutch painter and portrait artist who has held many successful exhibitions both internationally and in Oman.  She first visited Oman in 2001 overnighting in the desert.  When talking of those times she says “I became obsessed with Oman and its people, particularly with the Bedouin, their hospitality and way of life.  I listened to the sounds of the desert surrounding me, and I just wanted to start drawing immediately.  She describes these times as the best of her life.  About her return to the Netherlands she says “I couldn’t concentrate on anything that was not about Oman.  All of my other commissions suffered.  Painting portraits of businessmen, actors and poets just didn’t seem to flow.  I was too inspired by the Bedu women with their golden birkhas and the beautiful dresses that they wear with such grace.  Every scene moved me.  I wanted to capture an essence of their lifestyle.”  “The first time Tonny Holsbergen came to Oman she found herself in the desert of the Sharqiya accepting the hospitality of local bedouin.  Without a language in common the Dutch artist and the Omani bedouin communicated with each other by way of Tonny’s art.  She drew sketches of her hosts, to which they responded with immediate enthusiasm, insisting that she make more.  From this encounter, and from Tonny’s deeply felt empathy and passion for the people of Oman and the land in which they live, there has flowed a rich stream of paintings and drawings, a small selection of which are shown here.  This passion for people and for a way of life that is in danger of disappearing altogether, amid the pressures of modern life, is evident in every stroke of her brush.  Of course it is the work of the artist to create – to make new things in the world – but it is also, here, to make a passionate appeal to preserve what we already have.” (Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi)  “She shows that the desert is anything but a place of emptiness.  In her vision it is always a landscape full of colour and movement.  It is perhaps the colour in the paintings that strikes the eye most immediately.  Reds, in particular, seem to glow with an especial intensity: a tribute, perhaps, to the bright fabrics worn by the women of Oman’s desert interior.  She also captures quite beautifully the changing conditions of light in the desert.  A low evening sun picks out the delicate shade of luminous purple in a dish-dasha, which glows in the painting as though responding to an ultra-violet source.”  “Linger with one of these works for a moment longer, and, as the colours continue to vibrate, the movement of the figures, communicated with a flurry of graceful and precise lines will captivate you and draw you into the instant of action itself.  A hand raised in gesture, a leg twisting in dance, faces alive with character, with warmth, with vitality.  Drawing is at the heart of her art and such is the refinement of her technique here, that the human figures in her work seem to leap with muscular energy from the two dimensions of the painting’s surface.” (Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi)  “Muscat City” glass art (RO295)  “Omani Mask with Hologram Eyes” (in various colors and designs) (  Glass Art (RO 375)  “Waiting for the market, Nizwa” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 27X37cm (RO295)  “Bow at Command” oil on canvas 50X60cm (RO 500)  “Coffee server, Mutrah” oil & glass on canvas 90X80cm (RO 1800)  “Folkdance with Drums” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X54cm (RO 325)  “Woman with Calf” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X27cm (RO 295)  “Carrying the Goat for Eid” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 39X29cm (RO 295)  “Carrying Lucerne” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X27cm (RO 295)  “Two ladies Carrying Stone Bottles” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X27cm (RO 295)  “Coffee Server, Mutrah” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X27cm (RO 295)  “Old Man Carrying Baby Goat” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 80X50cm (RO 1250)  “Woman Carrying Baby Goat” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 80X50cm (RO 1250)  “Omani Mask” glass art (RO 275)  “Little Shop in Bahla” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 27X37cm (RO 295)  “Vegetable Market in Nizwa” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 27X37cm (RO 295)  “Sitting in the Shade at Nizwa” pastel 50X65cm (RO 575)  “Folklore Musicgroup” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X54cm (RO 325)  “A Walk through the Desert” water colour 35X45cm (RO 550)  “Camels in the Desert” & “Before the Start” pastel on palette (RO 400 each)   “Discussion about Fodder” pastel 40X48cm (RO 550)  “Study of Camel” water colour 30X40cm (RO 295)  “Passing a Door” pastel 70X90cm (RO 1500)

These are just some of the amazing pieces of artwork by Tonny Holsbergen available at Bait Muzna Gallery.  You better hurry though as this display is only on for 3 more days (ends on January the 8th).  If you are interested in any of the pieces, I’m sure that the ART director of the Gallery, Ellen Molliet, would be able to help you out.  ellen@baitmuznagallery.com   www.baitmuznagallery.com  (Tel: +96824739204)  Fax:+96824739205