We are excited to announce the launch of the Modern Art of Syria Archive (MASA) project, which we hope will provide a much-needed internationally accessible archive of Syrian art.

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Announced in 2018, Modern Art of Syria Archive (MASA) is an online archive of modern Syrian art. It will include artworks, documents, records and pictures and will be available for use by students, researchers and curators who are interested in the study of Syrian art.  Put together, these materials will provide an insight into the social, cultural, artistic and even political contexts of life in Syria and will supplement other initiatives that the Foundation is running (e.g. publications and research).

MASA is spearheaded by Atassi Foundation, and is supported by an advisory committee that is made up of Dr. Silvia Naef (professor at the Arabic Studies Section of the University of Geneva), Dr. Anneka Lenssen (Assistant professor of Global Modern Art in UC Berkley History of Art Department), and Dr. Abdul Razzaq Moaz ( senior fellow at Gerda Henkel Foundation).

At its core, MASA is a cultural preservation and research project. We hope it will encourage international interest in Syrian art and create a much-needed resource for anybody wishing to learn more about the subject.

We are excited to make public the first archive collection as part of this ongoing initiative. Today, we go live with the archive of Atassi Gallery in Damascus covering exhibitions from 1993 to 1999. The Gallery’s archive of the 2000s will follow shortly thereafter.  This archive collection includes exhibition ephemera (catalogues, brochures, invitation cards and posters), press clippings, and photographs.  We hope this archive collection gives you a detailed chronicle of this art gallery.

As mentioned above MASA is a repository of Syrian art in the 20th century so it does not stop at Atassi Gallery archive collection. We are already working with other archive collection owners on digitizing and publishing their respective archives.  

As with all of our activities, this is a non-profit initiative, and as such, we are looking for volunteers, researchers and academics who would like to get involved. Or if you have materials, time or money you would like to donate to the archive – please get in touch!