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.
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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.
Messages of Love and Politics
Messages of Love and PoliticsMia Gröndahl
Graffiti began in Gaza in 1987, during the first Intifada, when there was no Palestinian television or radio in the Gaza Strip, and no newspapers: the messages that spread along the walls became an important means of communication. Over the years, all political groups have had their own graffiti artists. Scrawl is not tolerated—it has to look good. Hamas even offers evening classes in graffiti. Documenting the writings on the walls of Gaza over a period of seven years, celebrated Swedish photojournalist Mia Gröndahl lays before us the many roles that they perform, the colorful and surprising range of their artistic expression, and their reflection of the changing political situation. And apart from political slogans, the walls bear witness too to joy and sadness: the wedding celebrations, the many victims of the conflict, and the ever present hope of peace and freedom. For us on the outside, Mia Gröndahl’s photographs offer an exciting and unexpected view of life in Gaza....read more
15 March 2010
150 color illus.
Film in the Middle East and North Africa
Edited by Josef Gugler
Creative DissidenceEdited by Josef Gugler
Nine essays presenting the major national cinemas, from Iran to Morocco, are complemented by in-depth discussions of eighteen films that have been selected for both their excellence and their critical engagement with pressing current issues. The introduction provides a comprehensive overview of filmmaking throughout the region, including important films produced outside the national cinemas. The long history of Iranian cinema, its international renown, and the politics of directors confronting the state, earns it a special place in this volume. The other major emphasis is on the Israel/Palestine conflict, featuring films by Palestinian directors, Israelis, and an Egyptian working in Syria. Twenty contributors, from film and literary scholars to film directors and a novelist, bring to this unique volume differences in disciplinary orientation and variation in the perspectives that inform their writing. Together they offer an illuminating range of approaches to the cinemas of the region....read more
55 b/w 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.
The Churches of Egypt
From the Journey of the Holy Family to the Present Day
Edited by Carolyn Ludwig Gertrud J.M. van Loon Gawdat Gabra Photographs by Sherif Sonbol
From the Journey of the Holy Family to the Present DayEdited by Carolyn Ludwig
Gertrud J.M. van Loon
Photographs by Sherif Sonbol
With over 300 full-color photographs, this is the first fully illustrated book devoted to Christian houses of worship in Egypt. The text incorporates the latest research to complement the broad geographic scope covering nearly all significant Coptic sites throughout the country, from the ancient Coptic churches in Old Cairo to the churches in the monasteries of Wadi al-Natrun, the Red Sea, and Upper Egypt. Churches associated with the Holy Family’s sojourn in Egypt, including Gabal al-Tayr and Dayr al-Muharraq, enrich the volume. Churches of all other Christian denominations in Egypt are also described and beautifully illustrated here. A number of Greek Orthodox churches, Evangelical Coptic, Catholic, Armenian, and Anglican churches are included. Introductory chapters on the history of Christianity in Egypt, the architecture of the Coptic Church, and Coptic wall paintings help readers to appreciate fully the great cultural, artistic, and architectural heritage of Egypt’s Christians....read more
1 November 2012
350 color illus.