Morocco: Emerging Museums and a New Contemporary Art Scene

Ashley Burch

The contemporary art scene in Morocco has both influenced and been enriched by the career of Lalla Essaydi. This essay will survey the development of museums and gallery venues in Morocco 1912 onwards.  It will focus especially on the decades after 1956, the year of Essaydi’s birth and the end of the French and Spanish Protectorates of Morocco (1912-1956). This survey will shed light on the greater cultural contexts in which Essaydi’s art is exhibited and received in her home country.

Since 1990, several institutions in major Moroccan cities have been at the center of the diffusion and growth of contemporary visual art in the region.  These include L’appartement 22, Cinémathèque de Tanger, La Source du Lion, and the Marrakech Art Fair.  The emergence of local art galleries has proven to be a major platform for showing the work of today’s Moroccan artists and contributing to the development of the Moroccan contemporary art scene.  Additionally, the global art market has promoted the dissemination of the work of artists from Morocco.  Exhibitions overseas, including the exhibition at James Madison University, have also added to the international interest in artists from this region.

The Emergence of the First National Art Museums in Morocco

Continued Growth of Moroccan Influence

Cited Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading

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