U.S.A. - HUNTINGTON-WEST VIRGINIA - Visions of the Prophet: The Visual Art of Kahlil Gibran - 02.11.2013-09.02.2014


The Huntington Museum of Art, in an exclusive partnership with the Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia, brings you the exhibit Visions of the Prophet: The Visual Art of Kahlil Gibran. This collection of works by the Lebanese-born, visionary artist and writer Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) includes 96 drawings, watercolors, and paintings. Beloved worldwide for his writings, his visual art is less known, ironic since it was visual art that he pursued first. Gibran is best known for his book titled The Prophet, a collection of 26 philosophical essays that became one of the top-selling books of the twentieth century. Since it was first published in 1923, The Prophet has never been out of print, and has been translated into 40 languages. The book was especially popular during the 1960s with followers of the American counterculture and New Age movements.

Inspired by painters from the Renaissance, the Pre-Raphaelites, the French Symbolists, and others, such as visionary William Blake, Gibran sought to express symbolic ideas about life, humanity, and the interconnectedness of all things in his own unique way. These works span his career and include early works from his first exhibition at photographer Fred Holland Day’s studio in Boston in 1904, to works created during the last years of his life, including six works used as illustrations in his last book The Garden of the Prophet.  All the pieces on view come from the personal collection of Gibran’s patron Mary Haskell who donated her collection to the Telfair Museums in 1950. They provide a survey of Gibran’s career as a visual artist, document his relationship with Mary Haskell, and substantiate his literary career with examples of several drawings and watercolors used as illustrations for six of his English-written books. The exhibit also includes self-portraits by Gibran, an early oil portrait of Gibran by Lilla Cabot Perry and photographs of Gibran and his New York studio.

Tania Sammons, Curator at the Telfair Museums, and organizer of this exhibit has written extensively about Mary Haskell and Kahlil Gibran. She writes the following about the work of Gibran, “Through oil, watercolor, pencil, pen, pastel, gouache, or some variation thereof, Gibran sought to evoke the essence of life. He wanted to elevate humanity through his work and share his ideas about the connectedness of all things. He wanted to inspire and stretch the imaginations of his audiences, if they so choose to be open to his message of oneness. In his visual work and his writing, Gibran provided a first step into a spiritual understanding of life.”

The exhibit will be accompanied by a catalogue with essays by Tania Sammons and Dr. Suheil Bushrui, the University of Maryland’s George and Lisa Zakhem Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace.

 Huntington Museum of Art     02.11.2013 - 09.02.2014

Website & source : Huntington Museum of Art

Website : Huntington