Dubai’s oldest art space, Majlis Gallery was once the family home of its founder Alison Collins opened its doors as an art gallery in 1989.
Its mission was to encourage the works of artists of international standing and to become a meeting place for creative minds. The gallery has now evolved into one of Dubai’s premier fine art galleries, a true haven for artists and art lovers alike.
A Majlis is defined as a place for meeting or common ground. Over the years The Majlis Gallery has more than fulfilled that description. After hosting several solo and group exhibitions, the gallery has been responsible for introducing many of the regions finest artists to the cultural stage. The Majlis Gallery has earned its reputation in a buzzing city and has endured excellence and a standing for representing only the best of local and international artists in a welcoming and exceptional environment.
Offering a haven for artists and art lovers, The Majlis Gallery came alive out of a love affair between an expatriate lady and a very extraordinary house. Alison Collins came to Dubai in 1976 to work as an interior designer. She fell in love with the country, especially with the architecture and the ambiance of the old wind tower houses in the Bastakia. In 1978, with the help of two Iranian tea importers and an Egyptian curtain maker, Alison and her husband got the custody and could lease on villa number 19, Bastakia, Bur Dubai. In this location over the next ten years, they were able to raised their three young children and played host to many informal soirees in their ‘majlis’, hence the name, introducing artists both professional and amateur to a somewhat culturally bereft community. The Bastakia, now known as The Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood, offers a provoking glimpse into a time when Dubai was nothing more than a quiet trading port, and now, with the opening of the newly renovated houses, presents the Emirate with a pulsating artistic centre.
In the past 25 years, Collins has provided a platform for artists whose names are now known on a global stage. Abdul Qader Al Rais, one of the UAE’s greatest painters, who specialises in landscapes and architectural-style works, had his first exhibition there in the early 1990s. Artists from around the world come to the gallery, taking inspiration from the authenticity of the area as well as the desert environment and all the work is displayed in the gallery. Alison Collins has a constant stream of guests and customers who return time and again.
“I don’t think you need to evaluate one gallery against another,” says Collins. “You are as good as your relationships with your clients and your artists and I am very fortunate that our artists and our clients trust us implicitly.”
Majlis Gallery is located in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai.
10:00 – 18:00 – Sat – Thurs
1st of Jun – 1st of Sept
10:00 – 14:00 – Sat – Thurs
10:00 – 18:00 – Sat –Thurs
The Majlis Gallery
Bastakiya, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
Dubai – United Arab Emirates.
Tel.: +971 4 353 6233
Photo courtesy: www.themajlisgallery.com
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