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culture

culture

www.connectsavannah.com/culture

JAN 12 - JAN 18, 2011 | WWW.CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM

24

Visual Arts

Self Portrait

The Vision of Adam and Eve

A Prophet in art as well as in letters

Kahlil Gibran exhibit at Jepson Center is accompanied by new volume Life

by Jim Morekis | jim@connectsavannah.com

Kahlil Gibran is of course best–known as the author of The Prophet, one of the bestselling books of all time and one of the few never to be out of print since it was first published.

The Blessed Mountain

What’s less well known is that Gibran was an accomplished visual artist as well. What’s even less well–known is that our very own Telfair Museums own the single largest holding of Gibran’s artwork, on display through January 23 at the Jepson Center. Still, “Gibran’s a real Savannah icon,” says Tania June Sammons, director of the Telfair–administered Owens-Thomas House and co–author of a beautiful new companion volume to the collection, The Art of Kahlil Gibran. “He’s up there with John Berendt, Paula Deen, and Bobby Zarem,” she says. “He brings people here.”

While the local community at large perhaps isn’t as aware of the Gibran collection as they should be, the rest of the world knows. Over the holidays an Australian film crew working on a documentary about Gibran–related sites all over the world stopped by the Jepson to shoot a segment. Born into a Christian family in Lebanon, Gibran’s first love was visual art. When he emigrated to the United States early in life, his plan was to pursue that as a career. But like one of his key influences, William Blake, Gibran would eventually be so consumed by a desire to communicate his spiritual philosophy that he determined to also set words to paper. “He went to study in Paris, but he said ‘this is not for me,’” says Dr. Suheil Bushrui, co–author of The Art of Kahlil Gibran and one of the world’s foremost Gibran scholars. “He didn’t care for Cubism or Picasso — he wanted to follow the spiritual art of Blake.” And like Blake, Gibran’s career would eventually be noted for a combination of spiritual poetry and simple yet evocative artwork. “His art was inseparable from his poetry,” says Bushrui. “He was making a statement in both.”

Profile for Connect Savannah

Jan. 12, 2011 Connect Savannah Issue  

Featuring Savannah metal band Kylesa; remembering Spitfire Poetry Group founder Clinton Powell; Live Oak Public Libraries annual gala; versa...

Jan. 12, 2011 Connect Savannah Issue  

Featuring Savannah metal band Kylesa; remembering Spitfire Poetry Group founder Clinton Powell; Live Oak Public Libraries annual gala; versa...

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