Margo Veillon, one of Egypt’s best known and best loved artists, was born in Cairo in 1907 to a Swiss father and an Austrian mother and died in the same city in 2003. For most of her 96 years she painted and drew Egypt, from north to south, from countryside to city, as well as Paris, London, and other parts of the world. As a witness to a century of enormous change in Egypt as much as elsewhere, she produced a huge, rich, and varied body of work that includes work from across the decades of her career as well as across a variety of media. Although Margo lived part of her life in Europe, it was clearly Egypt that held her imagination through all those long years of artistic innovation. One strand of her work is characterized by an ability to capture and depict the energy of a specific moment in time, be it a toss of wheat in the air to separate the chaff, the stoic bride in a wedding procession, or a horse dancing in a tent at a mulid. The stones, sands, and constantly changing light of the desert were the inspiration for many years for another major line of artistic expression. And a third strand was her exploration of all that can be seen, not seen, and sensed in one place, in her remarkable series of Global Perspectives. These threads and others no less individual and innovative make up the extraordinarily rich tapestry of Margo Veillon’s artistic career over nearly one hundred years.
Witness of a Century
30 May 2007
214 color illus.
For sale worldwide
Also available by this author
Egyptian FestivalsEdited by Bruno Ronfard
Essay by John Rodenbeck
Margo Veillon, one of Egypt’s best known and best loved artists, returns to enchant us again with a collection of paintings and drawings depicting the festivals of Egypt. The cycle of Egyptian life is marked by festivals and celebrations: those for births, weddings, saints’ mulids, national holidays, and closing the circle, funerals. Margo Veillon draws us in to the joy, exuberance, and occasional sorrow that mark the seasons of Egyptian festivals. This remarkable collection of images fills the viewer with the music and dance that punctuate these events and allows us to participate vicariously through the pages in a swirl of colors, smells, sounds, and exultation....read more
11 October 2004
83 color, 19 b/w illus.
Painting Egypt: The Masterpiece Collection at the American University in CairoEdited by Bruno Ronfard
Margo Veillon, one of Egypt’s best loved artists, here presents a sampling of her work from throughout her career, as represented in a legacy bequeathed to the American University in Cairo. The collection includes work from across the decades of her career as well as across a variety of media. Although Margo has lived part of her life in Europe, it is clearly Egypt that has held her imagination in all these long years of artistic innovation. One strand of her work is characterized by an ability to capture and depict the energy of a specific moment in time, be it a toss of wheat in the air to separate the chaff, the stoic bride in a wedding procession, or a horse dancing in a tent at a mulid. The stones, sands, and constantly changing light of the desert have been the inspiration for many years for another major line of artistic expression. And a third strand has been her exploration of all that can be seen, not seen, and sensed in one place, in her remarkable series of Global Perspectives. These threads and others no less individual and innovative make up the extraordinarily rich tapestry of Margo Veillon’s artistic career, as brought together in the AUC Permanent Collection....read more
29 October 2004
100 color illus.
Drawing EgyptEdited by Bruno Ronfard
Born in 1907, Margo Veillon was one of Egypt’s best-loved artists. Presented here is a sampling of her work spanning seventy-five years of her productive career, in a variety of graphic media—pen and ink, watercolor, pencil, and crayon, as represented in a legacy bequeathed to the American University in Cairo. Although she lived part of her life in Europe, it is clearly Egypt that held her imagination and inspired her artistic innovation. Possessed with an ability to capture the energy of a specific moment in time, Margo Veillon drew people and animals, landscapes and street scenes with her characteristic sly humor and gift for depicting a lively vignette or serene visual moment in just a few strokes. These threads and others no less individual and innovative make up the extraordinarily rich tapestry of Margo Veillon’s artistic career, brought together in the AUC Permanent Collection....read more
15 April 2013
220 color illus.
Hassan Fathy and Continuity in Islamic Arts and Architecture
The Birth of a New Modern
The Birth of a New ModernAhmad Hamid
Hassan Fathy, the Egyptian architect known for his recognition of the potential of vernacular forms as a vital force in contemporary architectural design, sought to integrate the traditions of Islamic art with his modern visions for living. Guided by Fathy’s principles, Ahmad Hamid, an architect who collaborated with Hassan Fathy in the Institute for Appropriate Technology, identifies questions about the nature of Islamic art and its building culture, as well as the origins of modern architecture. This richly illustrated book provides new insights into Hassan Fathy’s profuse, pathbreaking design documents and built projects, while exploring the socioeconomic, environmental, psychological, and esthetic components of Fathy’s work in the light of a quest for a new universal modernity for the twenty-first century....read more
15 December 2010
100 b/w photographs and drawings
Gardens of Sand
Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Egypt, Arabia, Turkey, and the Levant
Issam Nassar Patricia Almárcegui Clark Worswick
Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Egypt, Arabia, Turkey, and the LevantIssam Nassar
Between 1859 and 1905, a number of photographers working in Damascus, Mecca, Cairo, Istanbul, and northern Africa captured their landscapes, towns, and monuments, bequeathing an unprecedented visual documentation of the Middle East. Gardens of Sand brings together 100 original photographs, masterpieces mostly hitherto unpublished, taken between 1859 and 1905. The archive illustrates the themes of the expatriate photographers of the second half of the nineteenth century—study portraits, royal commissions, landscapes, inventories of significant monuments and buildings, orientalist scenes, steeped in classical European imagination—but also explores the confrontation between western imagination and the visual reality of the Middle East, a meeting that gave rise to a local photography, gradually moving further away from western stereotypes, and includes a critical analysis of orientalism and of photography as a means of conveying a reality of prejudices....read more
Early Persian Painting
Kalila and Dimna Manuscripts of the Late 14th Century
Kalila and Dimna Manuscripts of the Late 14th CenturyBernard O’Kane
Kalila wa Dimna (or The Fables of Bidpai) is one of the gems of world culture, having been translated through the centuries everywhere from China to Spain. The stories of Kalila wa Dimna, like the Fables of Aesop or Lafontaine, are subtle and suggestive moral tales—a kind of repository of wisdom and understanding about the human condition. It was the most commonly illustrated medieval Islamic text. This book focuses on the group of seven Persian manuscripts from the second half of the fourteenth century, which contain several of the finest masterpieces of Persian painting. It is a work of enormous erudition and scholarly importance, a huge contribution for art historians and students interested in Persian painting and early Islamic art. In a world now besotted with images, these superb early paintings can give us a glimpse of the power and delight that they must have given their original viewers, and help explain the work’s attractiveness throughout the ages. “These pages will remain forever as a basic tool for all further work on this particular text and as a model for the study of illustrated manuscripts in general”—Oleg Grabar, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton...read more
50 b/w, 91 color illus.
Architecture for the Poor
An Experiment in Rural Egypt
An Experiment in Rural EgyptHassan Fathy
In this now classic work, Hassan Fathy, Egypt’s greatest twentieth-century architect, describes in detail his plan for building the village of New Gourna on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, employing both the traditional building material, mud brick, and such traditional Egyptian architectural features as enclosed courtyards and domed and vaulted roofing. Fathy worked closely with the people to tailor his designs to their needs; he taught them how to work with the mud bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of ancient techniques, such as the use of claustra (mud-brick latticework) to adorn the buildings. Although bureaucratic red tape and other problems prevented the completion of New Gourna, Fathy’s ideas have since commanded widespread attention both inside and outside Egypt, and Architecture for the Poor remains a testament to his vision as an architect of conscience. “Fathy demonstrates very powerfully that it is possible to build for the poor … cheaply and humanly by the use of earth for building and by teaching people to build for themselves. There is no other book quite like this.” —Choice...read more
132 b/w illus.