Jean-Paul Najar Collection at New York University Abu Dhabi Library

Jean-Paul Najar Collection at New York University Abu Dhabi Library

NYU Abu Dhabi

Jean-Paul Najar Collection at New York University Abu Dhabi.

November 14, 2018
Jean-Paul Najar Collection at New York University Abu Dhabi Library
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The Archives and Special Collections department of the New York University Abu Dhabi Library and the Jean-Paul Najar Foundation have engaged in a collaboration to offer a selection of the art collector Jean-Paul Najar’s books for use by scholars of modern art. The books have been loaned to the Library by the Foundation and are available in the Special Collections Reading Room of the Library, which is open to the public by appointment. In addition, the Foundation has encouraged other galleries, including the Leila Heller Gallery and the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Dubai, and the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris, to contribute volumes to the collection.

The collection of books document modern art and thought of the late 20th and 21st century and include volumes on modern art, architecture, photography, philosophy, and culture in general. An accomplished artist himself, Najar acquired works by French and American artists during his time in Paris with a focus on modern art collecting. He died in 2014 and his collection and archive is on display at the Jean-Paul Najar Foundation Gallery in Dubai on Alserkal Avenue. The Gallery focuses on abstract European and American art from the 1960s through the present and features a 40-year archive of artist-collector exchanges.

The Najar library collection nicely complements other collections in the arts in the NYUAD Library. The Library includes an extensive collection of 20th-century artists’ photobooks and a growing collection of books on modern Arab art and artists that includes the Salwa Mikdadi Collection of resources for contemporary Arab art.

The Library’s development of Special Collections in the arts springs from NYU Abu Dhabi’s ongoing commitment to the study, practice, and exhibition of art as a critical part of a comprehensive liberal arts education. As a hub for arts and culture, the University also engages its publics through both its academic museum (The NYUAD Art Gallery) and its performing arts center (The Arts Center at NYUAD).

About New York University Abu Dhabi
NYUAD is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYUAD has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU’s campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

About the Jean-Paul Najar Foundation
The JPNF is an ICOM registered private museum presenting abstract European and American art from the 1960s through today. Presenting three exhibitions a year, the JPNF is also home to a remarkable archive tracing forty years of artist-collector exchanges. Education is central to the museum’s mission. The JPNF is committed to presenting an educational program that promotes a spirit of discovery and inquiry that engages its diverse community. The JPNF Building is designed by Mario Jossa, of Marcel Breuer and Associates, and the foundation is a Dubai registered non-profit association and is presented in partnership with Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


The Archives and Special Collections department at the New York University Abu Dhabi Library houses rare and unique materials that are available to NYUAD students, faculty, and staff, as well as qualified researchers from the United Arab Emirates and abroad. Our goal is to provide access to archival and manuscript collections, rare books, ephemera and other primary sources that will support, enrich, and augment the research interests of students and faculty, and to document the history of NYUAD through the collection and preservation of archival material. Areas of collecting emphasis include the social and cultural history of the UAE, the Arabian Gulf region, and the Indian Ocean region; films from regional filmmakers; maps of the region; photography and photo books that are examples of this art form; and the works of Shakespeare as translated, adapted, and performed in different languages and cultures. In addition, the Archives and Special Collections department serves as the University Archives for the NYUAD campus.

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