Generally Speaking, Art is about life, it is meant to evoke emotions and even understandings. Visiting art galleries is enjoyable as art galleries are spiritual places that inspire people through its painting. It gives chance to person’s imagination to see the paintings each on his own way. Moreover, the paintings in the gallery give different impressions according to the psychological condiotion of every person; sometimes the paintings help people to let their stress out or might give energy as well as it may cause fear, happiness and sometimes it may cause anger.
One of these art galleries is the art gallery in Cairo Opera House. The art gallery in the opera house is a place that promotes fine art and modern art in Egypt. Furthermore, it reflects the history of Egypt and the modern art through its paintings. The gallery is owned by the ministry of culture. First of all, it was built in 1932 in El Gomhoreya Street then it moved to Asr El Neel then moved to El Dokki Street before it finally stabilized in Cairo Opera House in 1992. To evaluate any art gallery and know whether it promotes fine art in Egypt or not there is two aspects must be evaluated which are the layout of the gallery and the paintings and painters in the gallery.
First of all, I am going to talk about the layout. Outside the gallery there is a small cafeteria and there is a cash desk where you can buy tickets to enter the art gallery; the cost of the ticket is 50 piaster for Egyptians and 5 Egyptian pounds for foreigners and it is for free for the fine art students. When I entered the gallery it was very quiet there was not a lot of noise as there was few visitors on this day walking around, the gallery was unclean unlike the other museums; most of the visitors who visit the gallery are art student or students that are working on researches. There is a security desk on the right of the entrance door where you can ask for a guide to give you some information about the gallery and behind the security desk there is an elevator and stairs on both sides.
I think the layout does not help the visitor to move through and gain an understanding of the collection because there is not any brochures to give you any information or any maps to show which way to go or where to go to see specific paintings . The gallery consists of a panorama floor, first floor and the second floor; each floor consists of four toilets as there are twelve toilets in the whole gallery and four of them are not working which reflects the neglect of the people responsible of the gallery. There are cameras for security on the corners of each floor. There are also ten halls in the gallery. Furthermore, the gallery offers facilities to all people in general and art students specifically by offering useful websites to help the youth.
Another category that I am going to talk about in my essay is the paintings and the artists. In the center of the panorama floor there is a statue called “Bent El Neel” which was made by Mahmoud Mokhtar that lights from inside and in front of this statue there is a small statue called ” Hayawan Khorafy” (“Imaginary Animal”) made by Abdu Ramzy. There are many paintings in the art gallery but the most famous paintings are ” El Madina”, “El Belyatsho” (“The Clown”), “El Farah El Shaaby”(” The folk wedding”), ” El Otta Bassant” (“The Cat Bassant”) which is painted by Gazebeya Serry and ” Hafr Kanat El Sewes” (” The Digging of Suez Canal”) and this painting is painted by Abd El Hady El Gazzar. Moreover, the most famous painters are Ahmed Morsy, Reem Hassan, Ragheb Ayad, Mahmoud Saeed, George Bahgoury and Taheya Haleem. More than that, there are different types of paintings like historical paintings, and realistic paintings and abstract which satisfy different tastes of visitors from all over the world.
There is no difference between the panorama floor, the first and the second floor except that in the second floor there is a gift shop for tourists to buy gifts which in my opinion it is not in the proper place because there are many people that can skip the first and the second floor because they are the same as the panorama floor and in such a case they will not see the gift shop so it was better to make it in the panorama floor in order to make sure that all people or tourists are going to see it. Moreover, the gallery is unorganized where there are no signs to tell you where to go. Furthermore, the paintings are not well-placed as there is no difference between the paintings in the three floors. There are 8,000 paintings where 500 only are presented and the rest are in the store and some of these paintings that exist in the store are sent to the ministries for decoration.
To sum up, although the art gallery in the Cairo Opera House promotes fine art in Egypt, it was unexpected to find the gallery unclean and unorganized. The art galleries are precious so the art gallery in the Cairo Opera House needs more care from the government and the ministry of culture as well as the Egyptian people themselves to try to increase the gallery’s facilities to make it one of the best galleries because the gallery reflects the developmental stages of the fine art in Egypt.
There were not a lot of people maybe you can count them on your fingers as most of the people who visit the gallery are foreigners and students of fine art. There are many people sitting on their desks and chairs doing nothing and the man who sells the tickets is sitting inside the gallery with the security men talking and laughing in an uncivilized way leaving the ticket desk empty. The lack of organization is an obvious sign that art in Egypt needs more attention or perhaps more funding especially taking into consideration that this was at the Cairo Opera House; a place that is widely regarded as a prestigious and is aimed at the elite of Cairo.