Art and Architecture between Lisbon and Baghdad

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Iraq, 1957-1973

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Presenting a large, unprecedented and surprising estate, this exhibition reveals the almost unknown history of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s intervention in Iraq. Photographs, videos and original documents from the Gulbenkian Archives, along with works of art from the Gulbenkian Museum’s rare section of Iraqi Art, are shown for the first time.

Between 1957 and 1973, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation was an active contributor to the development of the cultural, educational, scientific and welfare infrastructure of modern Iraq, promoting and supporting higher education, the arts and the construction and equipment of buildings.

This exhibition presents unpublished documents relating to three key achievements in Baghdad – the Modern Arts Centre, the People’s Stadium and the 1966 Gulbenkian Cultural Week – and Iraqi works unexpectedly held in the Modern Collection, shown together here for the first time. This exhibition constitutes a dialogue between cultural development and economic diplomacy, between Iraqi and Portuguese art and architecture.

The project is promoted by the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and the Art Library and Gulbenkian Archives, with the support of the Grants Department.


The Al-Shaab Stadium

The Gulbenkian Cultural Week

Exhibition of international art

Modern Arts Centre

Iraqi art section

Gulbenkian Art Prize

Scholarships for Iraqi artists

Complementary Programs

Talk with the curators Patrícia Rosas and Ricardo Agarez
Friday, 26 October, 15:00 
Saturday, 10 November and 19 January, 16:00

About contemporary Iraq
With Paulo Moura
Tuesday, 11 December, 18:00 – Art Library

Guided tours
Saturday, 27 October, 16:00
Saturday, 1 December and 26 January, 15:00

In Portuguese only

An Alternative Future
Thursday and Friday, 25 and 26 October, 17:00 – Auditorium 3
In English
This initiative of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as a member of the Future Architecture Platform, a project that is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
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Rethinking the Past
International Conference Memory / Archive / Document – Arts and Architecture
With Andreas Huyssen, Ernst Van Alphen and Catherine David
Thursday and Friday, 8 and 9 November, 09:30 – 19:00 – Auditorium 3 and Room 2
In Portuguese and English
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The 1960s in Iraq: Art and Culture
With Nada Shabout
Wednesday, 9 January, 18:00 – Auditorium 3
In English
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The Arab Center for Architecture
With George Arbid
Saturday, 12 January, 17:00 – Auditorium 3
In English
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In Portuguese, English or French
(+351) 217 823 800
[email protected]

More information
[email protected]

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