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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Exploring Cairo: Modernist Egyptian art at the Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum

Samar Nasr , Thursday 7 Sep 2017
 Mahmoud Mokhtar
Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum entrance (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
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Mahmoud Mokhtar is regarded as one of the pioneers of modern Egyptian art; most Egyptians know him as “the Egyptian renaissance sculptor" due to his famous statue in El-Nahda square in Giza.
 
Despite his short life (he died in 1934 at the age of 43), his work represents the beginning of the Egyptian modernist movement, and he is regarded as the father of modern Egyptian sculpture.
 
To find out more about him, Ahram Online visited the small museum devoted his work, located opposite Cairo Opera House in Gezira.
Entering the museum grounds, you will find examples of his sculpture, including a statue of Saad Zaghloul.
Mahmoud Mkhtar
The nile bride sculpture made of artificial stone. (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
 
The museum consists of two floors, containing eight rooms, as well as his tomb. The main hall includes a plaster relief of Zaghloul presenting Egyptian demands to the British minister.
Mahmoud Mkhtar
Gypsum Sculpture describing Saad Zaghloul presenting the demands to the british minister. (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
 
Mokhtar’s work narrated the story of Egypt, and particularly of the common folk, sculpting the return from the Nile, the entrance to the village, and the jar-carrier, the woman carrying water, and the cheese-seller.
Mahmoud Mkhtar
The peasant statue. (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
Mahmoud Mkhtar
The three paupers bronze statue. (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
There is a whole room devoted to revolutionary and prime minister Saad Zaghloul, including a plaster maquette representing independence day, Zaghloul carried on the shoulders of the crowd, and a maquette of Zaghloul in Alexandria.
Mahmoud Mkhtar
The Reckless man statue. (Photo by Ayman Hafez)
Mahmoud Mkhtar
The independence project Gypsum maquette. (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
 
The room also features two bronze statues of women representing upper and lower Egypt.
Mahmoud Mkhtar
Statues of different provinces made of bronze. (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
Mahmoud Mkhtar
The indigenous man made of bronze. (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
 
Mokhtar's tomb is located inside a small room at the museum, beside a statue of him.
Mahmoud Mkhtar
Mahmoud Mokhtar Tomb (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
Mahmoud Mkhtar
A statue for Mahmoud Mokhtar (Photo by Ayman Hafez)
 
The last room, named thte Hall of Figures, includes statues of well-known figures of the time like Dr. Ali Ibrahim and Adly Yakan, statues representing different provinces, portrayals of characteristics like recklessness, and the goddess Isis.
Mahmoud Mkhtar
Sheikh El Bashariyeen statue made of bronze. (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
Mahmoud Mkhtar
Statues with different sizes for Saad Zaghloul. (Photo By Ayman Hafez)
 
Mokhtar attended the School of Fine Arts in Cairo upon its opening in 1908.
 
The museum is open every day except Monday and Friday, from 9am to 3pm, however, the cultural center for the museum is open from 9am to 9pm.
 
Tickets cost EGP5 for Egyptians and EGP10 for foreigners, EGP 1 for students, and no extra fees for taking photos. 

 
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