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Director of Baghdad’s National Museum of Modern Art to visit PCC

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What constitutes modern Iraqi art? When does the era begin or end? And does the “new” Iraq – today’s reality – have an effect on the concept?

Find out by visiting the Northview Gallery at 11 a.m., Monday, Feb. 27, Sylvania Campus, when Salam Atta Sabri, an artist and the director of the National Museum of Modern Art in Baghdad, hosts “Modern Art in Iraq: From the Pioneers of the 1930s to the Looting of 2003.” The Northview Gallery is located in Room 214 of the CT Building.

Title unknown. Courtesy of Modern Art Iraq archive.

Atta Sabri will highlight the history of Iraqi modern art and the trials faced by his institution in restoring exhibits lost to years of war and theft. Following the looting, Atta Sabri published a partial list of artwork missing from the museum. Additionally, he founded a non-governmental organization that works to preserve the history and artworks of pioneers of modern Iraqi fine arts.

“Over the past 10 years what Americans have heard about Iraq has mostly been related to war,” said Bryan Hull, faculty coordinator of PCC’s Internationalization Initiative. “Salam’s visit will enable students, staff and faculty to think about the country in a different way.”

The presentation – free of charge and open to all students, staff and faculty – is sponsored by PCC’s Internationalization Initiative, in partnership with Portland State University’s Middle East Studies Center. Atta Sabri’s visit to Portland is being facilitated with the help of the American Academic Research Institute in Iraq, a consortium of American universities and institutions devoted to promoting research within Iraq.