In the upscale Achrafieh neighborhood of Beirut, there is a museum of modern and contemporary art called the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum. Nicolas Sursock, a Lebanese art enthusiast and collector who was dedicated to the support and promotion of art and saw the need for institutional support for local and regional artists, founded the museum. Upon his passing in 1952, Sursock gave his home to the people of Lebanon as a museum of art. The patron established a waqf, a trust, and asked for the handover of all of his estate, including the Achrafieh palace and his art collection, to the mutawalli, who would serve as the President of the Municipality of Beirut. Things to see:
Despite the Sursock Museum's emphasis on contemporary and modern art, it has several collections. The majority of the works in the collection of contemporary and modern art were created by Lebanese artists between the late 1800s and the early 2000s. Lebanese artists from the early half of the 20th century, including important modernists like Amine el Bacha and Shafic Abboud, are particularly well represented in the collection. Since many works were bought by the museum after the Salon d'Automne, the history and development of the collection of contemporary and modern art are closely related. Oriental artifacts such as Islamic and late Ottoman textiles, carpets, artworks, and icons are among the museum's additional holdings. Nicolas Sursock's private collection of woodwork, furniture, and other items is also included. The Fouad Debbas Photography Collection, which consists of over 30,000 photographs from West Asia, particularly Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, and Turkey, is also part of the museum's holdings, as are a group of 15 contemporary Japanese woodcut prints that the Japanese Embassy in Lebanon gave the institution as well as 250 photographs of Lebanese architecture that were printed by Camille Aboussouan, the museum's first conservator. Exhibitions:
The goal of the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum is to gather, protect, and display both domestic and foreign art. The museum has pursued a particularly busy exhibition program since its reopening in 2015, which includes thematic group exhibitions and solo exhibitions by Lebanese, regional, and international artists. The Sursock Museum has an important place in the history of Lebanese art because there isn't a national museum of modern and contemporary art, which gives the museum a unique position both nationally and regionally. As one of West Asia's oldest contemporary art museums, the organization serves as a valuable precedent for several more recent Arab museums of modern art.
Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon