British Museum Receives Eisler Funding to Collect Contemporary Middle Eastern Art

Maryam and Edward Eisler have provided significant funding to help The British Museum to collect contemporary middle eastern art. This adds to the generosity of the Contemporary and Modern Middle Eastern Art (CaMMEA) acquisition group, which was formed in 2009.

Since its inception, this group of individuals has established an annual fund which has allowed the Museum to acquire modern and contemporary artworks by more than 50 artists from the Middle Eastern region as a whole, while some members of the group have also chosen to make additional and substantial anonymous donations. This funding allows the Museum to respond quickly to the contemporary art market and to be strategic in its collecting policy.

The Eisler fund is enabling the acquisition of important works by Iranian artists, which include the modernist Nicky Nodjoumi, calligraphic scrolls by Golnaz Fathi, a photographic work by Sadegh Tirafkan and plans for an acquisition of a rare work by Charles Hossein Zenderoudi are in the pipeline. These works will complement the existing works by Iranian artists in the British Museum collection, including those featured in Word into Art, as well as those acquired through the CaMMEA acquisition group, such as Bita Ghezeyalagh, Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh,Y.Z.Kami and Timo Nasseri. The Eisler donation has also sponsored a one year curatorial position to work with the senior curator on researching, administering and developing the modern and contemporary collection at the British Museum, and has also provided for a report being commissioned from curator and writer Vali Mahlouji to create a strategy for collecting Iranian art for the future.

The Museum’s collection of Contemporary and Modern Middle Eastern Art is accessible through our collections online database or is available to view by appointment through the Middle East study room.

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