Jabal Al Weibdeh is known for a lot of things; trendy cafes, diversity, stunning views, and of course, art. The rich artistic heritage and beautiful galleries have crowned it as the ultimate Amman art district. The neighbourhood gives you the chance to cruise through a vast history of ever-evolving arts throughout the ages. Whether you are into modern art, contemporary art, street art, photography, or any forms of Arab and Middle Eastern art, Jabal Al-Weibdeh has a lot to offer. Here is a guide to the best destinations for art lovers in Jabal Al Weibdeh, Amman.
Dar Al-Anda Art Gallery
Dar Al-Anda has impressed and captivated visitors ever since it opened in October 1998. Situated in one of Amman's architectural masterpieces, the buildings that house Dar Al-Anda are as staggering as the art inside them. The two villas were among the most stately traditional houses that were built in the 1930s by leading families of Armenian and Chercasian origins as they laid the foundation of modern-day Amman. The main house's architecture was influenced by Roman and Islamic arches. In 1999 the main villa was restored brick-by-brick, and renovated to serve its community and to reconnect with traditions and identity through arts. Today, Dar Al-Anda plays a dynamic role in supporting and upholding emerging and established talent from Jordan and the Middle East. This contemporary artistic hub displays an exquisite art collection by some of Jordan's best artists, as well as Middle Eastern modern works by pioneers such as Youssef Abdelke, Muhanna Durra, Dia Azzawi and many more. Besides organizing cutting-edge exhibitions, the gallery also hosts musical concerts, literary events, and cultural activities.
Art and unique pieces are not only confined to the exhibition halls upstairs, Dar Al-Anda’s gift shop is a gallery itself. Echoing the gallery's comprehensive art collection, the gift shop playfully dubbed “The Vault” features unique products inspired by arts and cultures from all around the world.
Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation
If you're looking for a source of inspiration, a hub for artists, and a historical legacy all rolled into one, you should definitely take the time to visit Darat Al-Funun (or the house of Arts). The grounds form a compound of six buildings that were originally built on one of ancient Philadelphia's hills by Jordanian, Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese families during the 1920s and 1930s. In the late 1990s, world-renowned Jordanian architect Ammar Khammash artfully renovated the buildings to become one of Jordan's most beautiful art attractions, as he tactually maintained the houses’ historical identity.
Darat Al Funun now boasts thousands of exhibitions and displays a diverse range of artworks by famous Jordanian artists and profoundly respected artists from the Arab World. The museum also showcases work from the Khalid Shoman private collection. Among pieces spanning from the 19th century to modern days, the collection includes works by Nicola Saig, Dame Zaha Hadid, Princess Faherelnissa Zeid, Bady Dalloul, and Ziad Dalloul. Throughout the years, this institution has conducted countless workshops related to painting, music, video art, and photography to attract and grow the youth's interest in the arts.
Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts
Flip through a captivating collection of contemporary Middle Eastern and Islamic art with a visit to the National Gallery of Fine Arts. The gallery holds a fascinating art collection that showcases more than 2,000 artworks, including sculptures, photography, prints, nonwovens, and earthenware created by emerging and established artists from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The ultra-contemporary gallery had successfully organized over 200 exhibitions locally and across the world.
The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts is housed in two buildings separated by a sculpture park, which includes an incredible collection of contemporary sculptures and is home to a wide range of activities, including musical performances and craft fairs during the summertime. Once you're finished with your tour, you should head upstairs to the Jungle Fever cafe to enjoy a cup of coffee while you soak up some of the art-centric books they keep on hand.
Jabal Al Weibdeh's Street Art Scene
It seems like you don't always have to attend museums and galleries to get a fresh breath of art because admirable art pieces can be found even if you are roaming the streets of Jabal Al Weibdeh. Amman street art has gained rapid popularity among young “Ammanis” and foreigners in the past few years. From eye staggering murals to graffiti tags, street art has rapidly become an integral part of Amman's character, especially in the heritage districts of Jabal Al Weibdeh and Jabal Amman, where art can be found among the rows of old buildings, department stores, and even on shop shutters. A lot of these art pieces carry important messages about pressing issues such as environmentalism, women's rights, and co-existence.
Bonus Mention: Jacaranda Images (Located in Jabal Amman)
Jacaranda Images is an art shop and gallery that specializes in prints and works on paper. The Jacaranda Image Gallery’s focus is on growing the passion for arts and the art collecting culture by providing unique, creative, and affordable prints. Cutting-edge modern pieces, contemporary Jordanian and international art prints, and photographs taken in Jordan are all tangled in their exquisite exhibitions. Jacaranda Images has become known for representing works by ambitious local and international artists, including Tariq Dajani, Mona Saudi, Susie Perring, and Alastair McNaughton. The gallery's art shop also includes a vast and charming collection of locally designed gift items. So if you love to collect art and to travel light, Jacaranda's paper prints are a perfect choice.
Speaking of traveling light…
If you’re visiting Amman, why don’t you bring a piece of Amman’s art scene home without the extra luggage? Marsoum Art Collective offers fast, insured and free shipping (if you subscribe to our newsletter) anywhere in the world.
Written by: Zaina Abuhammour
Zaina is a freelance copywriter and a lifelong learner. Two of her great passions in life are writing and storytelling.
Through her work, she seeks to tell stories that captivate and inspire people. When she isn’t busy freelance writing, you can find her somewhere toiling away at her own fiction writing.