What is, and what was luxury? This story celebrates a world history of the lavish and the luxurious through 350 extraordinary objects – fashion, jewellery, art, furniture, design and more.

Spanning thousands of years, marvel at the ways in which luxury has been interpreted by diverse cultures: from extravagant offerings for the divine, to golden furniture fit for royalty and the iconic couture of fashion houses and virtuoso objects of luxury houses, as Christian Dior, Chanel, Cartier, Balenciaga and Hermès Discover how different cultures have defined luxury and the impact of such excess on the evolution of society, as a way to undermine or underline the status quo. Consider the prominent role of women in defining luxury, and with it, the ebb and flow between excess and moderation. We explore what elevates an object to the realm of precious - be it time, craftsmanship, or rarity.

The exhibition presents multiple narratives of luxury from ancient civilisations and their worship of the gods, to the exquisite finery of the 18th century French court of Versailles, as well as the ways in which the Industrial Revolution transformed both our interpretation and consumption of luxury goods. It will question what luxury means to us today amidst concerns about sustainable development in an age of globalisation and mass consumption, and evaluate ‘money can’t buy’ notions of personal freedoms such as leisure time and freedom of movement.

Drawing on the collections of Musée des Arts Décoratifs and other French museums, including Musée du Louvre and Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, this exhibition offers a rare chance to glimpse, revel in and evaluate true luxury. The exhibition is curated by Olivier Gabet, Deputy Managing Director of Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Admission is included with your museum general admission ticket.
Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Club Members visit for free.

Cultural programme

Inspired by the 10,000 Years of Luxury exhibition, Louvre Abu Dhabi will work with performers and artists to create priceless experiences with the theme ‘luxuries are what money can’t buy’. Part of this will celebrate the place of the Diva in the history of popular music through concerts led by local and international singers offering tributes to the great divas Umm Kulthum and Fairuz as well as exploring the idea of the diva today. The diva perhaps exemplifies a constant concept in the history of luxury, an objectified example of an intangible heritage form which moves through history from the exclusive world of the elite to the contemporary world of digital access and mass consumption.

USO - The Perfumed Cloud
30 October 2019 – 1 February 2020

Alongside the exhibition 10,000 Years of Luxury, Louvre Abu Dhabi presents the olfactory art installation; USO - The Perfumed Cloud (USO = Unidentified Scented Object) from 30 October to 1 February 2020, created by the Maison Cartier in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent with Transsolar KlimaEngineering. Continuing the museum’s mission to offer innovative experiences, this installation offers a magical sensory journey into a cloud made of perfume.

Step into a transparent glass cube over water and under the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s spectacular dome, climb the spiral stairs and feel the change in temperature as you ascend to a floating scented cloud.

The first ever immersive installation of its kind in the Middle East, USO combines ethereal architecture, the senses and climate technology.

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