Department or Program



Originating in the colonial era (1912-1956), the Moroccan national museum has a long and complex history. In the postcolonial era, the Moroccan state has historically used the museum, and the art housed within it, to construct narratives of progress and images of modernity. Following the Arab Spring in 2011, the National Foundation of Museums was established by the state, culminating with the opening of the Mohammed VI National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat in 2014. This thesis explores the inner workings of this new museum, the accessibility of art in the country, and the lived experiences of people with whom this topic is central to their lives. This thesis seeks to understand the complexities of this situation a decade after this pivotal moment in the history of Moroccan national museums. Assembling a body of knowledge from interviews with contemporary Moroccan artists, museum staff members, and academics, participant observation, and theoretical frameworks concerning the intersections of the museum, the state, and the nation, the central argument revolves around how this new museum is still used by the state to legitimize definitions of the nation. The voices and experiences within this thesis demonstrate the ongoing struggle to make art more accessible to more people in Morocco, which often includes moving beyond the confines and political implications of the traditional idea of the museum.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Strickland, April

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.