Every art lover dreams of visiting Egypt, not just, because it is a bucket list destination for anyone interested in ancient history, culture, archaeology or art, but because of the centuries-old pharaonic statues and contemporary art galleries. Indeed, Egypt buzzes with creativity.
It is often said that Egypt houses 1/3 of the world’s antiquities and this is unique because no other destination offers up five millennia of history, architecture, archaeology, and art like Egypt does.
Traveling to Egypt as an art lover without a guide might be frustrating because you might miss out some of the fascinating art centers in Egypt such as the ancient temple, which gives travelers glimpses of painted walls and looming pillars covered in flat figures and hieroglyphics.
As an art lover, when you visit these places and study the Egyptian art while you travel, you can learn about Egypt’s sprawling history and contemporary culture.
Egyptian art is known for its distinctive figure rule used for the main figures in both relief and painting, majority of the Egyptian art includes paintings, sculptures, drawings on papyrus, faience, jewelry, ivories, architecture, and other art media.
Ancient Egyptian artists rarely left their names on their artwork, hence most Egyptian artworks are anonymous also because most of the time it was a joint or collective effort.
On the other hand, the Ancient Egyptian Art is also very conservative, the art style changed very little over time. Much of the surviving art comes from tombs and monuments, giving more insight into the ancient Egyptian afterlife beliefs.
Ancient Egyptian architects were careful enough while making artworks and they used sun-dried and kiln-baked bricks, fine sandstone, limestone and granite for most of the artwork. They also used Hieroglyphic and pictorial carvings in brilliant colors to decorate many Egyptian structures, including many motifs, like the scarab, sacred beetle, the solar disk, and the vulture.
While modern viewers may call it art, much of ancient Egypt’s famous creative works originally had significant purposes. In Egypt, their tombs filled with statues represented people who would accompany them into the afterlife (The Egyptians believe so much in the afterlife).
Furthermore, their temples, covered with hieroglyphics (the art of calligraphy) and painted murals significantly, show their journey into the afterlife or moments from their daily life.
POPULAR ART CENTERS AND GALLEY IN EGYPT
- The Ramses Wissa Wassef Arts Centre
One of the art centers you should not miss, as an art lover is the Ramses Wissa Wassef Arts Centre, this center is open for intricate tapestries depicting natural life in Egypt because they depict the modern counterpart to the daily life scenes of the Egyptians.
Japanese visitors who find carpets as a practical complement to their home lifestyle often purchase special carpets sold in this art center. This art center also displays significant pharaonic artifacts and it is always open to visitors.
- Zamalek Art Gallery
The Zamalek Art Gallery located in the trendy Zamalek area of the city in Egypt is a contemporary art gallery that hosts various art exhibitions each month, displaying the work of the most renowned and exclusive artists in Egypt.
There is a permanent collection of work inside the Gallery, courtesy of established Egyptian artists and up-and-coming young talent. While visiting the art gallery, you will find a spacious exhibitor area, creating many opportunities for both visitors to appreciate the works on display.
The Gallery has been involved with many notable projects, including the extensive six-month art festival commemorating 100 years of the Aswan Old Cataract Hotel in 1999-2000.
- Cairo Opera House
The Cairo Opera House displays some of the finest productions of ballet, opera and symphonies in Egypt. Here, young individuals from across the country come together to develop their talents and give breathtaking performances to audiences on a regular basis.
This is an addition to the Opera House because visitors can enjoy music and gallery images as well as the charming opera museum and amazing performances from various talented Egyptians.
- Townhouse Gallery
The townhouse gallery, established in 1998 started as the first independent art space in the country. This gallery in downtown Cairo has on display various collection of contemporary fine art and as the first independent art space in the country, its goal was to bring contemporary art to the general public while encouraging creativity among new and existing artists.
The Townhouse gallery is a non-profit gallery whose aim is to raise and encourage the profile of gifted artists by hosting exhibitions, educational platforms and outreach programs.
The Gallery works diligently to build strong relationships both nationally and internationally to build greater levels of creativity and an appreciation, growth and understanding of contemporary art in Egypt and the Middle East.
- Al Masar Gallery
This is a modern art gallery recently opened in late 2008. This modern and stylish venue displays the work of renowned Egyptian artists
In addition, this gallery focuses on vibrancy and uniqueness and this is noticeable in every artwork on display. The Gallery defines itself as ‘both the path and the trace as a cultural nexus of exhibitions and documentation to define the genuine value of modern and contemporary Egyptian art.’
- Gezira Center for Modern Art
The Gezira Center for Modern Art started with the idea of collecting and collating modern Egyptian artwork. Overtime a good number of artworks were collected and gathered, however, these artworks moved severally from one location to another until it settled in the Gezira Center for Modern Art in 1986, overseen by the Ministry of Culture.
The collection includes a vast number of artistic pieces that accumulated over time by the Egyptian royal family.
As an art lover, while visiting the gallery, you also visit the adjacent National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, which contains numerous displays from ancient Egypt, right through to the present day.
- The Darb
Another fascinating art center is the Darb 1718 Contemporary Art and Culture center. This art and culture centre has an indoor and outdoor area that holds differing art displays and cultural events. It also features two exhibition areas, plus stages and an outdoor cinema area for film screenings.
Here, art lovers can enjoy a number of exhibitions, concerts, festivals and events from national and international artists. There is also a variety of performance workshops held regularly, giving up and coming artists the chance to display exciting new works alongside more established artists.
This popular gallery hosts an interesting collection of contemporary art pieces and is the home of a large number of exciting, regular exhibitions covering all aspects of life.
Artworks on display in Picasso range from new interpretations of the locomotive to the human body, clowns laughing/crying or visionary ideas of past to present and future Egypt.
The gallery holds a variety of collections that will appeal to all tastes and pique the interests of visitors.
- Off the Beaten Path
Art lovers and adventurers who want to explore the hidden treasures of the art world can hop from the major tourist destinations to some other less-crowded but still famous spots.
Spots like the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, located on the west bank of the Nile River. This magnificent palace adorned with ancient graffiti gives a jaw dropping experience for art lovers and adventurers as well.
Other fascinating offbeat locations include the grand, hill-like Abu Simbel temples and the ancient city of Abydos, home to abandoned temples covered in ancient paintings and carvings.