The Rise of the Sursock Museum

Osman, Ashraf. ‘The Rise of the Sursock Museum: The Power of the Image to Create an Image of Power’. A Driving Force. On the Rhetoric of Images and Power, 22 December 2023.

Find Ashraf Osman’s article on the Sursock Museum here:


The Sursock Museum is a cultural institution that has played a significant role in shaping the art scene in Beirut, Lebanon, and the wider region, since its establishment in the 1950s-60s. This paper examines how the Museum employed the rhetoric of images on multiple levels, including that of its donor, the architecture, as well as the art to consolidate its power in the second half of the twentieth century. As such, the Sursock Museumʼs policies helped construct its public image as a place of cultural and social significance, while also reflecting broader power structures and hierarchies in Lebanese society.

KEYWORDS: Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock • Lebanon • Beirut • Modern art history • Sursock Museum• Salon dʼAutomne • Modern Art History

Cite this blog post
Nadia von Maltzahn (2024, March 21). The Rise of the Sursock Museum. LAWHA Lebanon's Art World at Home and Abroad. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from

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