Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts By Rogers, Sarah Ann
The Royal Society of Fine Arts, a private, non-profit, non-governmental organization with the goal of promoting the visual arts in Jordan and the region, established the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in 1980. Located in two buildings in the historic district of Jabal al Weibdeh in the capital of Amman, the National Gallery houses over two thousand five hundred paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, weavings, installations, and video art by modern and contemporary artists from Arab, Islamic, and developing countries. One of the institution’s most important projects was the 1989 exhibition, Contemporary Art from the Islamic World, which opened at the Barbican Centre in London. Edited by founding director Dr Wijdan F. Al-Hashemi and accompanied by an extensive catalogue, the exhibition represented the most extensive show of modern Islamic art in Europe, with over two hundred pieces and inclusive of over a hundred artists from twenty-three countries in the Islamic world. In 2009, the National Gallery launched a second pioneering project: the Mobile Museum. Each week, a van converted into a gallery shares the work of Jordanian artists, along with art workshops and artist talks, with villages throughout Jordan’s rural countryside.