We concluded our 30th anniversary celebrations by inaugurating at the Beit al Beiruti “The Museum: Art Architecture Archaeology”, which embodies our 30 year long journey in support of contemporary arts and artists from the Arab world, and our contribution to preserving Jordan’s architectural and cultural heritage.
“Art Architecture Archaeology” over the years became the symbol of the Darat al Funun home for the arts. Ours is the only site in Amman where archaeological remains and historical traditional buildings stand side by side in a space dedicated to contemporary Arab arts.
The Art rooms of the museum retrace the timeline of all the exhibitions we mounted since 1988 by displaying banners of these exhibitions. In three additional rooms, we remember 25 artists from The Khalid Shoman Collection in a symbolic exhibition of their work.
The Architecture room narrates the stories of the six buildings dating from the 1920s/30s, and renovated to house what is now Darat al Funun. Their restoration preserves the legacy of those who lived in them and contributed to the making of modern Jordan. Built by Jordanian, Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese families, these houses stand witness to the history of the city of Amman and the shared history of Bilad al Sham. They speak of an enduring ancient legacy of urbanism, architecture and cultural identity that is today enriched by the contemporary arts.
The Archaeology room remaps the archaeological remains in the garden of a 6th century Byzantine church built over a Roman temple and an adjacent cave, and displays some of the ancient artefacts found during the restoration. Dedicated to Saint George and perhaps to Herakles, the site later became a memorial for al-Khadr, recalling the history of ancient Jordan.
By celebrating the arts at the heart of our culture, Darat al Funun is today a living place that brings together the old and the new, the past and the present, tradition and modernity, reflecting the visions of future generations.