Please join us for the opening of Plateau 6: Art Education in Morocco – Two Models (L’Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Casablanca and L' Institut National des Beaux-Art Tetouan)
The exhibition presents aspects of Moroccan art education through a critical and artistic engagement with archival material pertaining to the history of two major Moroccan art schools.
Produced and curated by: Shireen Rasheed, Mohamad M. Hojeije, Ibrahim El Khatib, Joseph Chalhoub, Aya El Husseini, Yara Haidar
AHIS 285-325, Spring 2022
Opening: April 28, 7:30 p.m. after the Lebanese plateau
Walk to AUB Rose and Shaheen Saleeby Museum
Modern Art Education in Morocco – Two Models (L'Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Casablanca and L' Institut National des Beaux-Art Tetouan) Modern art education in Morocco is rooted in its colonial past. Although colonial authorities opened schools of fine arts earlier in the 20th century, it was only in the 1960s – after the liberation of Morocco from the French protectorate in Casablanca, and from the Spanish mandate in Tetouan – that art schools began to consolidate. The double protectorate regime that ruled Morocco from 1912 to 1956 suppressed the education of fine arts in both cities of Casablanca (under the French rule) and Tetouan (under the Spaniards). The colonial powers restricted the instruction of fine arts only to children of the colonial agents and their local collaborators. The ordinary Moroccans were encouraged to study the crafts or pursue “useful arts" and design. After 1960s, following processes of decolonization, the Moroccan artists and educators began to challenge these divisions.
The artistic, aesthetic and political contradictions in modern Moroccan history lie also at the heart of Moroccan art education. The question of what is the proper way to teach art in the postcolonial settings have been asked in two of the country's most prominent art schools: Casablanca School of Fine Arts (known as L'Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Casablanca) and the National Institute of Fine Arts in Tetouan (also known as L' Institut National des Beaux-Art Tetouan). While the former was established in 1919 but lived its “golden era" in the 1960s, the latter was launched in 1945 but has come to prominence in Morocco and the region over the past decades. While the Casablanca School of Fine Arts has been associated with such big names of Moroccan art as Farid Belkahia (1934 – 2014), Mohammed Melehi (1936 – 2020), as well as with the Journal Souffles (نفس) that became critical at a time when Morocco confronted political and social decisions, the National Institute of Fine Arts in Tetouan, which acts under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Culture, is considered in the foreground of contemporary art education in Morocco and North Africa.
The exhibition installed in AUB Rose and Shaheen Saleeby Museum shows instances of Moroccan art education through a critical engagement and display of archival material pertaining to the history of the two art schools.