This is how Janine Rubeiz, founder of the first Lebanese Cultural Center in 1967, of “Dar el Fan”, recounts its inception: “The sixties in Lebanon saw an exceptional time in the cultural domain… we were numerous and conversed in coffee shops, but we felt like we needed a place to meet and feel at home… so we decided to create Dar al Fan… inaugurated in 1967 with a conference by André Pieyre de Mandiargues.” In 1975 the locale of Dar al Fan was destroyed but Janine Rubeiz decided to pursuit her activities in her own apartment despite the war that continued. The public came as if to defy the battles. The war ended.
In 1992 Janine Rubeiz passed away. Her daughter Nadine Majdalani Begdache who assisted her since 1980 took the initiative to turn her apartment into a gallery retaining the name Janine Rubeiz. Beirut was being rebuilt. The country changed. Culture had no role to play until Lebanon was back on its feet.
With the help of long time artist friends, Nadine Bedgache organizes between 6 to 8 art exhibitions per year as well as one more alluring exhibition where artists are invited from abroad. Some of these artists include: Moebius, Peter Alexander, Antonio Segui, Adam Honein, Graham Day, Etel Adnan, and Shafic Abboud. She also holds retrospective exhibitions of deceased artists.
Both the older and younger artistic talents continue in this frame of exhibitions that is often organized around a theme and or the precise selection is made sure to come across to the public as a clear message that is intelligent and sensible. After a long preparation each exhibition is accompanied by a limited edition of post cards, a catalogue, press reviews and an artist’s statement.
The stability of the situation helps; the gallery enlarges its scope of activity and looks towards abroad. It’s this that has made it able to participate in international art fairs since 1997 (Geneva, Paris, Strasbourg, and Abu Dhabi), and in April 1999 invited to Europ'Art-Geneva, she organized an exhibition with a museum theme representing forty years of contemporary Lebanese art. Similar events have taken place in various places, in 2002 Festival of Francophone Faces of Cahors in France, in 2004 Lebanon: The Artists’ View II British Lebanese Association in London as well as in Lebanon Women by Women IWSAW Lebanese American University, in 2006, “Pinceaux pour Plumes” Lebanese Foundation for the National Librairie, Sursock Museum.
Certain artists have taken part in auction sales at Christie’s – Dubai.
If the political role of the gallery had persisted since its birth (as a cultural center) this role would have continued to survive today with the goal of restoring and advancing a political culture in Lebanon.