Orientalism: The Allure of North Africa and the Near East
Masterworks from the Dahesh Museum of Art


Huth, Boeing, Salmon & Haws Galleries


October 27, 2019 – January 19, 2020

 “This is the most elegant and evocative exhibition I have seen at the Museum.”

 Mrs. Shelbie King, Huntsville resident and Museum member.



Hermann D. S. Corrodi- Camp Fire by the River: Kiosk of Trajan at Philae, n.d. Oil on canvas, 31 x 24 inches © Dahesh Museum of Art, 1995.20 photo credit: Robert E. Mates

Rudolph Ernst – The Letter, 1888, Oil on panel, 24 3/4 x 21 inches © Dahesh Museum of Art, 1995.53


Orientalism: The Allure of North Africa and the Near East – Masterworks from the Dahesh Museum of Art explores how artists from both Europe and America represented the cultures and peoples of Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa– both real and imagined – during the 19th century.


The Orient enchanted Romantic artists who wanted to escape Europe’s urban rigors, Realists who sought to record the “authentic” Orient, and others simply in search of fresh subject matter to satisfy the demands of a changing Western art market. Some traveled to the region as part of official government missions, others accompanied wealthy patrons, or were hired by the local elites and royalty.


Drawn from the Dahesh Museum of Art and a private collection, Orientalism: The Allure of North Africa and the Near East – Masterworks from the Dahesh Museum of Art features over 50 exceptional paintings, sculptures, and lavishly illustrated books by artists from Europe and America, such as Hermann David, Solomon Corrodi, Rudolf Ernst, Ludwig Deutsch, Charles-Théodore Frère, Joseph Farquharson, Frederic Lord Leighton, Edwin Longsden Long, Émile Prisse d’Avennes, Owen Jones, and Frederick Arthur Bridgman.


The exhibition explores the artistic legacy of Western encounters with the Orient in the 19th century through a variety of themes ranging from the West’s fascination with Ancient Egypt, Medieval Islamic architecture and design, and the exploration of biblical history, to the exotic genre and harem scenes. The stories unfolded by the artists’ travels reveal the cross-cultural exchanges that continue to fascinate us two centuries later.



Lecture, Book Signing & Party


Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Lecture by the Curator of the Dahesh Museum of Art, Alia Nour: 6 p.m.


Party catered by Chef Narvell: 7-8:30 p.m. 

Huntsville Symphony Orchestra members Jeff Dortch, Charles Hogue, and Ariana Arcu will provide musical entertainment. 


Members: $50 | Non-members: $75



Alia Nour, Curator of the Dahesh Museum of Art, specializes in academic research of European art of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and Orientalist art. She holds a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University in Cairo; an MA in Museum Studies from Seton Hall University; and an MA in Art History from Rutgers University. A Ph.D. candidate in Art History at Rutgers University, she completed a dissertation on cultural exchanges between France and Egypt, artistic production, and Egyptian national identity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries




Thank you, Sponsors!


Presenting Sponsor:





Jean Wessel Templeton


Sally and Robert Arthur
Pennie and Tom Keene
Dianne and Calame Sammons
Mark A. Spencer, Samia I. Spencer, and William A. Spencer
Suzanne O’Connor

Rahmati Law Firm


Additional Sponsors:


Dr. and Mrs. Abraham Madkour
Meg and Brooks Robbins
Christopher J. Madkour
Mark Madkour
Jane Childs
Abraham D. Madkour
Jenny and Stephen Madkour
Tina Madkour
Virginia Freeman