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Dazzling  "Cartier, Islamic Inspiration And Modern Design," Exhibition Takes Abu Dhabi by Storm



By Aya Nassar

In a dazzling celebration of cultural fusion and artistic innovation, Louvre Abu Dhabi proudly unveiled its latest groundbreaking exhibition, "Cartier, Islamic Inspiration and Modern Design," on November 16, 2023. 

H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Louvre Abu Dhabi, recently unveiled the show-stopping exhibition, "Cartier, Islamic Inspiration and Modern Design," promising a journey through time, style and cultures like no other. The exhibition is a testament to the enduring influence of Islamic art on the iconic Maison Cartier from the early 20th century to the present day. 

So, prepare yourselves for a spectacle that fuses the charm of Cartier's jewels with the mesmerizing influence of Islamic art, set to bedazzle from November 16, 2023, to March 24, 2024.

Co-curated by a dynamic duo, Judith Henon-Raynaud and Évelyne Possémé, and co-organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée du Louvre, and France Muséums, with support from Maison Cartier, the exhibition is a collaboration that brings together over 400 objects from esteemed collections from all those prestigious museums. 


The exhibition marks another chapter in the longstanding partnership between Cartier and Louvre Abu Dhabi. Previous collaborations include the 10,000 Years of Luxury exhibition in 2019 and the olfactory art installation, USO, The Perfumed Cloud.

The Origin Tale-like Story: Cartier Meets Islamic Art


At the heart of the exhibition lies the story of Louis Cartier, grandson of the Maison's founder, whose fascination with Islamic art at the turn of the 20th century set the stage for a revolutionary artistic journey. The exhibition delves into the Maison's creative process, unveiling Louis Cartier's personal collection of Islamic art, which became an endless source of inspiration for Cartier designers. The influence of Islamic art, discovered through travels to India and the Arabian Gulf, became a cornerstone of Cartier's design language, shaping masterpieces that continue to captivate the world.

The Origin Of The Exhibition: Cartier Meets Louvre


Curators of this mesmerizing experience invested almost five years in archival research, delving into drawings, photographs, and documents to trace the intricate connections between Cartier's creations and Islamic art. The result is an exhibition that immerses visitors in the Maison's creative process, revealing the profound impact of Islamic art on French jewelry design.


A Kaleidoscope of Inspiration: The Exhibition Unveiled


The exhibition unfolds through various chapters, each exploring different facets of Cartier's creative journey. Visitors can marvel at more than 400 dazzling objects gracing the exhibition space, weaving a tale of creativity and cultural fusion. From masterpieces of Islamic art to jaw-dropping jewelry, design sketches, miniatures, textiles, and archival gems, every piece tells a story of Cartier's long-standing love for Islamic inspiration. The exhibition features the best of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée du Louvre, and the Cartier Collection and Archives, with generous loans from Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la ville de Paris, and other lenders.

Beyond the Exhibit: A Multisensory Extravaganza


Beyond the exhibition halls, visitors can explore an immersive digital space, designed by New York-based design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with animations showcasing the assembly of Cartier's key pieces. “Infinity rooms" offer a captivating 180-degree visual wonderland of animated patterns. And the museum's façade? It's a canvas for projections that transport you through Jacques Cartier's globe-trotting adventures.

Beyond the Exhibit: A Cultural and Educational Extravaganza

As if that weren't enough, Louvre Abu Dhabi complements the exhibition with a diverse cultural and educational program. From in-depth talks with curators to family weekends and documentary screenings, the museum is turning this exhibition into an experience for all ages and interests.

Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, expressed the museum's commitment to broadening visitors' perspectives by bringing unique art and cultural experiences to Abu Dhabi, while Pierre Rainero, Image, Style, and Heritage Director at Cartier, highlights the profound impact of Islamic art on Cartier's creative language, emphasizing the Maison's role in the birth of modernity.

Meanwhile, Curators Henon-Raynaud and Possémé share their excitement about the five-year research journey, calling it an immersion into Cartier's creative process and a celebration of the roots that birthed some of the most iconic French jewelry pieces.

So, art enthusiasts and culture connoisseurs, mark your calendars and get ready for a dazzling journey through Cartier's glittering legacy, intertwined with the rich tapestry of Islamic art. This exhibition isn't just about jewelry; it's about the timeless dialogue between tradition and modernity, and the echoes of artistic inspiration across the globe that resonate through the ages. 


Your Passport To This Brilliance?

For more information about the exhibition and ticket bookings, visit or call +971 600 56 55 66. Entrance to the exhibition is free with the museum's general admission tickets, and children under 18 enjoy free admission to the museum. The exhibition is also accessible through various channels, with audio tours available on streaming platforms and Louvre Abu Dhabi's website. A catalog in three languages further enhances the visitor experience.

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