The Paris-based art dealer Claude Lemand and his wife France have donated 1,300 works to the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA), the Parisian institution devoted to promoting and showcasing art and culture of the Arab world. The gift constitutes one of the IMA’s biggest donations since its founding in 1980, and includes works by 94 different artists from the Arab world, of Arab descent, and who’ve made work about the exchange between East and West, including the Lebanese-American painter Etel Adnan, the Palestinian photographer Steve Sabella, the Algerian painter Mahjoub Ben Bella, and the Egyptian modernist Gazbia Sirry.
In a statement, the IMA’s president Jack Lang said:
Claude Lemand is among those collectors who only acquired works they love—by artists they love. And it’s the IMA, another trailblazer in modern and contemporary Arab art, that he [and France Lemand] have chosen as the second home for these artists amongst whom they have found so many friends.
Lemand founded his namesake gallery in 1988. Select works from the couple’s gifts to the IMA are showcased in three exhibitions on view at the museum, including one devoted to the Syrian artist Youssef Abdelké (23 of his works are included in the Lemand donation). In addition to donation artworks, the Lemands set up a fund to support research, publishing catalogues, organizing exhibitions, and acquiring other works for the IMA collection.