About the location
The RAK Art Foundation exists within a converted traditional Bahraini House, the home where Rashid Al Khalifa was raised. The original foundation, built in the 1920s, although restored, maintains its original walls and colonnade. Certain elements including remnants of the original gypsum walls, now act as central features and charming backdrops to one of the galleries that displays key works from the collection. Rashid Al Khalifa’s childhood bedroom, part of the second phase of the home which was built in the 1960s and is now an office and library, is flanked by one of Rashid’s own artworks that he painted on the wall when he was only 14 years old. The third phase, a double story building, was completely rebuilt in 2014 and boasts high ceilings, ornamental detailing and elevated windows that allow the space to be submerged in a gentle light, casting striking shadows.
Typical of traditional Bahraini architecture, each pavilion surrounds a central courtyard. Within the courtyard stands a prominent, ornamental cube, that houses Rashid Al Khalifa’s personal studio. Last but not least, in 2020 an extension was completed, designed as a contemporary ‘white cube’ gallery. Upon entering, visitors walk through a magnificent door, hand carved at the workshop of the last Bahraini Dhow maker, Jamal Shaheen.
About Rashid Al Khalifa
Born in 1952 in Riffa, Kingdom of Bahrain, Rashid Al Khalifa is a practicing artist, patron of the arts and collector. He recalls collecting his first work of art when he was at university in the UK, a print by Henry Moore. Since then, his collection has grown to an impressive size, consisting of hundreds of international works of fine and decorative art, camera and film equipment and furniture and interior design.
As an artist, Rashid Al Khalifa continues to exhibit internationally, showcasing his most recent installations at the Saatchi Gallery, London (2018) and the me Collectors Room, Berlin (2019), receiving international acclaim.
Since founding the Bahrain Arts Society in 1983, Rashid Al Khalifa has been an ardent supporter of artists and arts initiatives, understanding the necessity of arts education and awareness as a precursor to advancement and progress.
Visit The Foundation
If you are interested in visiting the RAK foundation and its collection, we would be happy to show you around. Contact us for more information.