Christie's Opens Its Doors to NYUAD

Closeup of restoration of ancient Christian icon with agate burnishers at workshop.

Prior to the sale of its modern and contemporary Arab, Iranian, and Turkish art at the end of October, Christie's auction house opened the doors of its Dubai salesroom to NYUAD students for a private tour. One of more than 450 annual sales — covering more than 80 categories, including fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, and collectibles — the collection included works by Iranian painter Mohammed Ehsai (pictured above), Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi, and Lebanese sculptor Nadim Karam.

"I wanted to attend because it was related to Approaches to Islamic Art and Architecture, a course I'm taking this semester," said Maheen Zahra, NYUAD Class of 2015. "Even though the course covers earlier centuries, I thought it would be good to see if and how the art in the Islamic world has evolved over the years." For sophomore Cassandra Flores, the tour appealed to her interest in art and museum management studies. "And," she said, "the trip last year was really enjoyable."

During the tour, the group visited the main floor of the showroom to examine and learn about the various paintings and sculptures on display, along with the help of a well-informed guide. "I loved how she told us the stories behind each painting," said Zahra. "It helped us get a proper perspective for observation of the work."

As well as providing exposure to some interesting pieces, the tour offered insight into the regional artists and their works. "I loved examining how the area itself may have influenced the pieces," said Flores. It also gave the students access to an upcoming sale of Elizabeth Taylor's jewels. As for picking out items for potential bidding, Flores saw a few things that caught her eye. "The art was all wonderful," she said, "but I did see a necklace..."