Women Artists in Lebanon

A brief overview about some of the most influential Lebanese female artists

Mediterranean Innuendoes by Elsie by Elsie HouriAmerican University of Beirut

A short history of art in Lebanon

People in the Levant first started practicing art by painting churches, building monuments, and decorating mosques with Islamic art.

Unfortunately, most of the art that survives to our present day was made in the12th and the 13th century, during the time of the crusades. In the 16th century, the ruler of Mount Lebanon, Fakhreddine II introduced the Western art to Lebanon, when he traveled to Florence to visit the Medici court, where he showed interest for the art and architecture of the place, and decided  to import the culture and style back to Lebanon. During the 18th century, the Gothic school of art was very popular in Lebanon through churches, icons, portraits of patriarchs and other religiously themed paintings. Secular art was also popular due to the influence of the many orientalist painters who visited Lebanon at that time to paint the historical monuments and the Mediterranean terrain.

By the end of the 19th century, Beirut was recognized for its flourishing cultural life and Lebanese artists were traveling to Europe to study art.

The Emergence of the Lebanese female artist

Lebanon has held a prominent place in the art scene since the late 1800's. Artists like Daoud Corm (1852–1930) and Youssef Saadallah Howayek (1883–1962) were famous in the Ottoman Empire and in Europe. It was not until the end of the 19th century that women started to emerge to the public art scene. 

Like many other cultures at the time, women were mostly seen as hearth keepers. They had to tend to the field and take care of their children, as well as tend to their husbands’ needs. This left little time for most women to pursue a hobby, not to mention a public career.  On the other hand, being an artist did not require women to go out of their home environment, and because a career in art for men was not seriously acknowledged by society, it was relatively easier for women to venture into the art field, while maintaining the order of their homes without being seen as a threat to men. Those women artists were educated, financially independent and cultured, while still described as mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. They maintained convention in their behavior and dress. In 1937, the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts opened, followed in 1954 by the Fine Arts Department in AUB, which gave Lebanese women the opportunity to study the arts. The following is a short account of some of these women artists, and their lives

"What matters most to me is the human relationship vis-a-vis nature and the essence of existence -- incorporating the continuous cycle of man, space and earth, whereby the expression of one is the reflection of the other" Elsie Houri

The first appearance of women participating in an art exhibit alongside their male counterparts was in 1931. L’ecole des Arts et Métier in Beirut organized the first group exhibit which included female participants, among them were Blanche Ammoun, Marie Haddad, Gladys Choucair, and Mrs. Bart. An art critic noted in an article published by the French monthly Tout (Beirut, January 1931), that “the only painters who succeed in being very good, who have done interesting things and remain original, are the women”

In general, art made by women showed more attention to detail and an experimental, bold spirit compared to art made by men. Another generation of artists came to light during the 40's. One of these artists is Saloua Raouda Choucair, who is said to be the first abstract artist in Lebanon.

Saloua Raouda Choucair presents her Artwork (1988) by Saloua Raouda ChoucairAmerican University of Beirut

Saloua Raouda<br>Choucair

Born in Beirut in 1916, she was the first Lebanese abstract avant-garde artist. Early on, Choucair found inspiration in her mother who, besides being well-educated and a skilled storyteller and poet, had to take care of three children on her own when her husband passed away serving in Damascus under the Ottoman army in 1917. Saloua manifested an interest in art since childhood. Growing up, it was mathematics, physics, science, Sufi writing, and modern architecture and design, that stimulated her sense of curiosity and quenched her thirst for aesthetic perfection. She began painting in the late 30's at the studio of Farroukh and Onsi. Influenced by her mentors, she started painting natural scenery. She soon found her own way to abstraction and sculpture, which played well to her interest in architecture and Islamic art and allowed her a freedom of self-expression that is not found in painting. She had no fear experimenting with technique or with different materials.

Her “poems”, as she called her sculptures, were intricate, linkable elements created to stand alone or fit together, allowing her audience to interact and participate in her art. “There is union of the greatest suppleness and the greatest rigidity, of geometry and of sensuality, of deep-ingrained conviction and of soaring impetus, of obstinate certainty and of attentiveness to every new approach" Article by William Matar.

In 1953, she married journalist Youssef Choucair, and they conceived one daughter together; Hala, who also became an artist.

Throughout her career, Saloua participated in many art exhibits in Lebanon, Paris, Belgrade, Rome, Brazil, Brussels, Baghdad and Tunis. She also held many one-woman exhibits in Paris and Lebanon. In 2013, the Tate Modern held a comprehensive retrospective about her, displaying half a century of her work. Choucair received a prestigious honorary doctorate from the American University of Beirut in 2014. Choucair turned 100 years old in June 2016, and died on January 26, 2017 in Beirut.

Etel Adnan : Painting Bridges (1999) by Etel AdnanAmerican University of Beirut

Etel Adnan

A multidisciplinary artist, writer, poet and intellectual. She has published over 18 books, two of which were made into films, and has written many theatrical plays and operas. She is a pioneer of modern and contemporary Lebanese art.  Born in 1925 in Beirut to a Greek mother and a Syrian father, Adnan grew up at a time when the city's intellectual and artistic movements were flourishing and therefore was influenced simultaneously by Paris and by Islamic and Sufi art and thought. At the time, Beirut was also fast becoming a stage for international politics and conflicts. Etel studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1949, after which she moved to the United States to pursue her post-graduate studies in philosophy at U.C. Berkeley and Harvard.  

After her mother died in 1958, she moved to San Francisco and started teaching philosophy of art at the Dominican College. It was there that she discovered her love for painting, encouraged by Ann O’Hanlon (a visual artist and head of the art department at the Dominican College). Etel says her mother had always told her she was clumsy with her hands, which deterred her from painting. She also states that she suffered much as a girl and believes that if she were a boy, she would have had more freedom to discover her creative side. This may have been why Etel did not start drawing until the age of 33, with a palette knife and crayons, creating basic compositions with primary hues and geometric shapes depicting Californian landscapes.

In the 1960's, she began integrating Arabic calligraphy into her artwork and her books; her art, much like the Iraqi painter Shakir Hassan al-Said, embraced a new art form which was modern yet distinct from Western aesthetics, and included traditional culture, media and techniques. In 1972, Etel came back to Beirut where she met her lifelong partner Simone Fattal, a Syrian-born woman who was a painter and a sculptor. Adnan worked as cultural editor for two daily newspapers, Al Safa and L’Orient le Jour. She moved to back California with Simone Fattal in 1976, after an unfortunate series of war-related events. Despite the hardships she faced in life and the horrors she witnessed (living in Lebanon during the war), Etel Adnan's work was described as permeating a sense of sacredness, serenity and calm. With her fast brush stokes, calligraphic lines, deep colors, and bright geometric shapes, which some say reflect life, war and love, she managed to make sense of the intense turmoil that had surrounded her.

Helen Khal : Portraits & Figurations (1975) by Helen KhalAmerican University of Beirut

Helen Khal

Born in Pennsylvania in 1923, to a Lebanese family of Syrian descent. She visited Lebanon when she was 23 years old and decided to stay and join the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts(1946-1948). She was influenced greatly by French impressionism where color mattered the most.

In 1947, newlywed to the Lebanese poet Yusuf el Khal, she moved to New York for a year where she joined the Art Students League. In 1955 Helen moved back to Lebanon with her husband and first child, a time that coincided with a sudden shift in her style from Impressionism to Neo-cubism, where emphasis was more on composition than on the object. She had her second child in 1958, the same year the US Marines entered Lebanon under the pretext of ending the Civil War.

“Once, when asked "who are you?", her answer was that she is many things: she is a painter, a writer, an editor, a mother and a grandmother. But above all, first and foremost, she is a human being. Though painting fills her life, it never takes precedence over human relationships” Helen Khal by Cesar Nammour. 

Helen Khal (1974) by Helen KhalAmerican University of Beirut

In 1960, her friend Aref Rayes, a Lebanese artist, seeing the significance of her cubist series, convinced her to hold her first exhibit in the Alecco Saab Gallery. After one year, her life almost fell apart with the death of her mother and brother. She separated from her husband and travelled back to Pennsylvania with her children. Her work took a turn from impressionism to chaotic abstract expressionism that was, as Cesar Nammour puts it: “devoid of purpose or clarity”. “For a whole year I felt like a wounded animal cringing in a corner unable to face the world… But suddenly one day, in one miraculous moment I shall never forget, the pain disappeared and I found myself whole and filled with new strength”. She returned to Lebanon and to her husband, where they established Gallery One in 1963, the first permanent art gallery in Lebanon. Six months after opening the gallery, the Khals got divorced over differences on running the show. Yusuf, in vengeance, took custody of their children, as well as the possession of Gallery One. It was a period of despair for Helen.

Her work at this time started to shift from abstract expressionism to minimal geometric, colorful forms, perhaps as a personal search for order in her own life. By 1968, her work could be categorized as minimal, non-objective art, where she goes back to the start when color and light were the main focus in her work.

In 1966, her passion for writing was rekindled when she started working as an art critic for The Daily Star and Monday Morning until 1974. Helen joined the arts department as faculty at the American University of Beirut in 1967, where she inspired students for a decade.

Helen Khal (1972) by Helen KhalAmerican University of Beirut

After the eruption of the war in 1975, Helen waited a year before deciding to move back to the United States to work as a publication consultant to the Jordan Information Bureau in Washington.

In 1976, inspired by the great number of Lebanese female artists compared to US and Europe, she completed a biographical research about 39 of these artists. This was later published as a book in 1987.

During her stay in the U.S.- although she continued painting and participating in exhibits- Helen wrote lots of letters to her friends, expressing her dissatisfaction with life in the U.S., which turned her from an artist to an “office woman”. She repeatedly complained about her lack of inspiration and dissatisfaction with her art. “Although I continue painting, I am still not satisfied with my work, even though it seems to please some people here”

“My own painting is still very unsatisfying. My spirit is arid these days. All dried up. If I were happy, or even unhappy, some good expression could come out. Instead, my mood is flat, waiting, colorless and anxious. Even the paints don’t smell right!”

She returned to Lebanon in 1996, where she exhibited annually in the Autumn Salon of Sursock museum and resumed her writing to the Daily Star, until 1999.

Helen participated in numerous collective and solo exhibits, in France, US, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Japan and Lebanon. She was both, witness and influencer, to the Lebanese modern art from the 60’s until the time of her death in 2009.

“For me, the directions -abstract and figurative - have been a necessary complement, one to the other. An abstract eye alone finally leads to creative sterility; by the same token, to deny the abstract neglects the presence of a significant underlying structure in life. There can be no figurative without the abstract structure, and no abstract without dome reference to the physical world around us. To the artist, reality presents itself in the sum total of many abstract elements.”

Huguette Caland : Faces and Places (1994) by Huguette CalandAmerican University of Beirut

Huguette Caland

The first Lebanese to experiment with abstract erotic art. Born in 1931, her father was Bshara el Khouri, the first Lebanese President after the French mandate. From a young age, Caland showed signs of rebellion against societal norms and standards. She liked to challenge and shock those around her. Coming from an elite political family, one can only imagine how hard it must have been for a young girl to live with such desires and ambitions. “I began to get fat to see how one could live being fat, with a full life and without any restrictions,” she told an interviewer in 1974. In fact, she struggled to accept her own physical image and often wore long, flowing caftans. Huguette studied law at the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut. Although she took her first painting lessons at the age of 16 with the Italian artist Fernando Manetti, she did not pursue her love of painting until later in life. At the age of 12, she fell in love with 16- year-old Paul Caland, a French-Lebanese and the nephew of one of her father’s opponents. Huguette and Paul got married in 1952, despite her family’s disapproval. She and Paul both took lovers later in life. When her father was diagnosed with cancer, she stayed by his side and took care of him, until his death in 1964. That was when she made her first painting. Afterwards, she enrolled in the American University of Beirut's art program and graduated in 1968.

Caland was obsessed by the human body and by desire. Her art was bold, colorful and full of sexual references, at a time when women's sexuality and desires were a taboo. Although she mingled with cosmopolitan artistic circles who understood her, the public wasn’t ready for her, and felt entitled to judge her life and work harshly. For all those reasons, and for her art to survive, Huguette had to move to Paris, leaving behind her three teenage daughters, a husband, and a lover.

Huguette Caland : Faces and Places (1994) by Huguette Caland, 1931-American University of Beirut

“I wanted to have my own identity,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “In Lebanon, I was the daughter of, wife of, mother of, sister of. It was such a freedom, to wake up all by myself in Paris. I needed to stretch”.

In Paris, Huguette felt liberated from social constraints and judgments, and was able to express herself in art more freely, she also mingled with many contemporary artists who had an effect on her work. In 1979, she designed a line of Caftans for Paul Cardin.

“I thought that I was strong enough to confront the world with my work,” she said in a video interview for Detroit Public TV when she was in her eighties. “I thought I had wings to fly, and I said goodbye to everybody”.

Her daughter, Brigitte Caland, said in an interview that her mother’s work became more sophisticated in Paris and that she wouldn’t have been able to produce the same erotic art had she stayed in Lebanon.

Although she left Lebanon, the war still affected her, and she produced a work titled Guerre Incivile (Uncivil War, 1981)

In 1982, she met sculptor George Apostu, and he became her partner and lover until his death in 1986. After her lover’s death, she moved to the United States to be close to her children. She lived there until 2013, when her husband got ill, so she came back to Lebanon to be by his side.

What makes Caland’s work distinctive is the mix of elements from Islamic arts with European minimalism and abstraction. Her art also has a certain subjectivity and feminism that is often lacking when men draw women.

Although the public in Paris was more accepting of her work than in Lebanon, she didn’t receive positive recognition from artistic circles. She had few exhibits up until the 1990's. By then, her subject matter had shifted to cityscapes and abstract patterns.

According to the Tate website: “Her magnified views of bodies range from more recognizable forms to ones that are almost entirely abstract, yet still suggestive. Body parts are transformed into bold fields of colour and curving forms which often resemble rolling landscapes or crevices”. Her gallery describes her exploration of sexuality and voluptuousness as “clearly ahead of her own time”.

Nadia Saikali : The Spiritual & the Esoteric (1972) by Nadia SaikaliAmerican University of Beirut


Born in Lebanon, in 1936 to a Lebanese
multicultural family. She grew up in Beirut, where she was subjected to the influence of Arabic, as well as European and Atlantic cultures. Nadia’s parents encouraged their children to experiment and to try different kinds of activities. As a child, she was fascinated by geography, geology and astrophysics, as well as art, dancing, playing the piano and painting.

Her life, as her art, combined a good contrast between spirituality and science. She was a loving mother and wife, as well as a professional artist, who experimented tirelessly to perfect her artistic expression. Nadia started painting at a very young age; when she was 10, her schoolteacher thought she was cheating when she submitted a picture she had drawn of a lion, and gave her a failing grade. 

She studied at the Lebanese ALBA and afterwards traveled to Paris to continue her studies. At the age of 20, Nadia fell in love with a Welsh man. They got married and had 2 children together.
Nadia believed that being a wife, a mother and an artist was a very difficult mission if you wanted to be perfect at all. It demanded too much energy to achieve balance and peace between the mother and the artist in her. Despite that, she succeeded in cultivating the artist in her by persistent practice and experimentation.

Her early love for dancing and movement shows itself in her studio habits and throughout her art. She was the first artist in Lebanon to successfully experiment with kinetic art; creating her rhythmic, spontaneous strokes across the canvas. During the war in Lebanon, she moved with her second husband to live in the Bateau-Lavoir, a building in Montmartre that was famous for its artist residents in the early 20th century. There, she graduated as an interior designer. This marked a new phase in her career; she started experimenting with all kinds of materials, fascinated by the play of light and shadow created by bonding different textures and forms together.

"Too many people theorize and politicize about one’s choice of colours in painting. This is not what I put forward in my works. After having focused my attention on the four elements mentioned in the Genesis: Earth- Fire- Water- Air, I now feel like expressing freely my joy to be alive and at peace. My main interests are the positive achievements of human kind, knowing that everything is related, that death is a proven certitude and that human wisdom has not yet been reached on Earth. Therefore I can claim out, loudly, that "Time for Peace has Come Now"."

India ink (1989) by Laure GhorayebAmerican University of Beirut

Laure Ghorayeb

Born in Deir el Qamar in 1931, an art critic, journalist and an artist herself. When she was 8 years old, in 1939, the World War broke out in Lebanon. Laure experienced fear, loss, chaos and destruction at a very young age, which left an everlasting impact on her psyche and art. "My grandmother would be chanting prayers and repeating in a sad, elegiac and recurring tone...The theme of war always lingers around me and brings back the memory of my mother's skirt, where we would hide when we were little – for hours". She usually draws on miniature canvases, emphasizing importance of content over grandeur. She mostly uses black ink, over collages made from newspaper/magazine cut-outs, photographs, letters, notes, etc…

Laure’s work tells the stories of war in a light and humorous way that speaks to the child in her audience. Her style is unique and takes one back to childhood memories, provoking nostalgia and longing. Her work portrays the chaos she has lived and the freedom she has longed for all her life. Even at the age of 88, in 2019, when the Lebanese Thawra started, she was seen in the Ring area, sitting amongst young people in protest to the political system, for several days and night. "I let my instinct guide me and my characters edge their ways in the outlines I create. These characters dwell in their stories, almost haunted by their destiny. "There is something there that I have not finished expressing myself about. This memory does not stop emerging from each line, letter, sign and word, of the thousand drawings presented during the exhibitions I have taken part in"

"We are a nation haunted by events. With regional uprisings and war affecting our historical heritage – leaving marks in our daily life… Since I am not an historian, I like to find elements that can be amusing and allow me to compose designs, characters and situations that reverse the logic of things, and find diversion in collages, cuttings, photos, pearls, threads and ribbons, which bring joy – just for a short time. This allows me to think deeper and to develop a new vision of materials in order to brighten up and break the monotony of the omnipresent black ink"

Black and White : Exhibition (1966) by Laure GhorayebAmerican University of Beirut

Laure has left a great impact on the Lebanese art scene since she started out in 1962. She participated in many solo and collective exhibits around the globe, including Algeria, Australia, Baghdad, Charka, Dubai, Egypt, Germany, India, Kuwait, North Africa, Oman, Paris, Switzerland and Syria. She also participated in “Pinceaux pour Plumes” at the Sursock Museum, and "Convergence - New Art from Lebanon", at the Katzen Arts Center of the American University in Washington DC. In 2016, her work was purchased by the British Museum and is now part of their permanent collection.

Nada Akl by Nada AklAmerican University of Beirut

Nada Akl

Born in 1956, in
Bekfayya, she studied art at the American University of Beirut, then art history at the Sorbonne, after which she obtained a Bachelor of Arts at the American College in Paris. At first, she used panels from different materials to create collages, but soon she discovered oil painting and stuck to it. 

Her work, though realistic, can be described as surreal and dreamy. Her main subjects are cinema, bygone stars, self/identity, light and portraits. She participated in several international exhibitions around the globe, including Paris, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States. Two books were written about

“Nada Akl is always fascinated by two concerns guiding her work in the maze of appearances: first the light in all shapes, second is the irretrievable past. Light, always at its climax and almighty leads the painting to an ideal outcome through perfect fusion between the set up scenery and its lightning. It is the aesthetic equivalent of emotion as well as the highest means of the organizing intellect and its true aim” Joseph Tarrab, art critic

D.S. Kazemi : Ceramic sculpture (1974) by Dorothy Salhab KazemiAmerican University of Beirut

Dorothy<br>Salhab Kazemi

“I feel my way through. Clay is a sensual material, and there is an interaction between me and the material, which almost directs itself. I simply follow that interaction, from piece to piece, as I feel the forms. Some people say my work is erotic; they give it a limited definition that views eroticism with a narrow vision. For me, all life is an erotic manifestation”Born in Roumieh in 1942. As a child, Dorothy was fascinated by the pottery work she used to see in the houses of Lebanese traditional potters. She loved the color and texture of soil, as she puts it:  “the round, full, voluptuous perfection of form born of clay and fired to the durability and texture of stone", as a result, she enrolled in Beirut University College, known back then as Beirut College for Women, in 1961 to study arts. 

In 1963, she took a trip to Denmark and was inspired by the exhibits of Danish pottery, ceramics, and glassware. She also made many connections in the field. However, upon her return to Beirut, she had to obey her parents’ wishes and went on to earn a BA in literature at the American University of Beirut. In 1964, her love for ceramics drove her back to Denmark, where she studied ceramics at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen for 2 years. In 1966, she started training under the renowned Danish ceramist Gutte Eriksen, where she learned the throwing technique. She returned to Lebanon in 1970 to teach ceramics at BUC (from 1971 to 1982), she also established an atelier in her hometown Roumieh where she continued working on her intricate art pieces. She participated in 5 archeological researches in Syria, where she learned more about the old techniques of pottery in the Middle East.

She made the glaze from the ash of olive and lemon trees, and formed the clay from Lebanese soil. Her colors also reflected nature, using earthy hues like grey, brown, blue and yellow.

Her work subtly merges Oriental, Japanese, and Occidental elements, which simultaneously feels traditional and modern, primitive and complex. Her pieces are like poetry verses; they hold a metaphorical mystery that suggests shapes from nature like flowers, leaves, or even earth itself. On the other hand, her strong curves can be seen as abstract erotic pieces, suggesting human body parts.

"The Islamic print is evident; the circle and the square; the Arabic calligraphy; the cross marking the symmetry; and the blue color which is an important element of Islamic art.”

“She was an authentic and refined artist with an assured taste and sensitivity developed from the best sources thanks to a complex, intellectual, artistic, Oriental and Western culture. This interaction between the intellect and instinct, the East and the West, was as total and intimate in her as that of the clay and enamel at high temperatures.” Joseph Tarrab.
She held exhibits in various countries and cities including Glasgow, Beirut, Copenhagen, Damascus, and France. Some of her work has been, and remains to this day, on display in the Museum of Modern Arts in Copenhagen, since 1975.

In 1978, Dorothy had to leave Lebanon because of the Civil War. She moved to Geneva with her husband and opened a workshop there, where she keenly worked on her art. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 1990. Her family opened a museum in her name, located in Roumieh, where she used to work before moving to Geneva.

Nicolas Sursock Museum XVIIIth Autumn Salon (1994) by Mouna Bassili SehnaouiAmerican University of Beirut

Mouna Bassili Sehnaoui

"I always sign my name Bassili Sehnaoui because when I was in London during the war, I went to show my work at a gallery and they said they liked it, but never showed women artists because they were hysterical!"

A painter, sculptor, designer and writer, Mouna Bassilli Sehnaoui was Born in Egypt 1945.

“I remember that as a child of five when I went to kindergarten (in those days one went at five years old, not three like today), I asked for a pencil and paper to draw… the teacher immediately moved me up a class. I had an aunt on my father’s side who had studied miniature painting in Paris. She was my idol (and my Godmother) and she encouraged me.”

In 1956, when the Suez crisis broke out, much like today, the schools were closed. During this time, Mouna’s Italian nanny advised her parents to send her to Silvio Bicchi Art Academy, which was still open at the time in Alexandria. There she studied drawing, anatomy, water colour, and oil painting. Later, she joined another academy with the artist Giuseppe Sebasti, where she learned a special technique called Tempera painting, which offers incredible transparency with the use of egg yolk and varnish.

In 1962 Gamal AbdelNasser became president and all private businesses were nationalized, including Sehnaoui's father's business. The family moved back to Lebanon.

Sehnaoui took drawing, painting, and sculpture classes at AUB, but she wasn’t able to graduate because of her poor Arabic at the time (she only spoke English and French in Egypt); so she transferred to the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she studied engraving, lithography, water colour, oil painting, and sculpture. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Unlike most Lebanese artists, Mouna’s paintings rarely depicted the civil war violence and gore. Instead, her work tells a story about survival. A story that is rich in history, culture and a good understanding of the struggle to sustain normalcy during a war that everyone thought would end soon, but that lasted 25 years. Perhaps the reason for this is that, unlike many artists, she stayed in Lebanon during the war, and this gave her a closer, more humane understanding of it all. The focus for her work is people, society, culture and daily life. Yet in some of her paintings, one gets the looming feeling that war lingers in the background trying to take over.
"I often put references to what went on over those years in my paintings, notably so that people don’t forget them and make the same mistakes".
She tells those stories by mixing Western, Islamic and Middle Eastern art, creating a unique world, made up of Lebanese/Arab icons, idols, places and traditions in modern contemporary layouts. She also utilizes ancient Phoenician, Byzantine and Persian history and mythology.

“For me, it was obvious when I finished my art training that there was no point in painting in any other artists’ style. Obvious, too, that the road Western art had taken at that point offered isolation and boredom, as far as I was concerned. Why should only an elite understand a minimalist art work? Why should a cleaning woman in Bordeaux throw out an artwork she thought was just garbage left to get rid of?”
Bassili Sehnaoui designed the Loubnan logo for the Lebanese Tourism Board, the logo was never registered, despite Mouna’s recommendations, and is now seen on most touristic memorabilia in Lebanon and Lebanese restaurants in Paris. As the head of the graphic art department of the Lebanese National Council of Tourism, she designed posters, stamps, books, encouraging tourism in Lebanon, as well as creating films for the Lebanese National Television. She also taught art, painting and graphic design at both the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University.

Credits: Story

Physical Content: AUB Libraries Archives and Special Collections.
Digital Content: AUB Libraries Digitization Lab.
Metadata Creator: Basma Chebani.
Exhibit Curator: Sara Jawad.
Reviewed by: David Kurani.

- The Woman Artist in Lebanon, by Helen Khal
- Women and War in Lebanon, by Lamia Rustum Shehadeh
- Etel Adnan, by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie
- Saloua Raouda Choucair, by Morgan, Jessica; Coxon, Ann; Scheid, Kirsten; Wilson-Goldie, Kaelen
- Helen Khal, by Cesar Nammour.
- Huguette Caland: everything takes the shape of a person, 1970-78, by Caland, Huguette; Moshayedi, Aram; Wilson-Goldie, Kaelen; Azimi, Negar; Shaykh, Ḥanān
- The spirit of the pot: L'esprit du pot: Dorothy Salhab Kazemi, by Espagnet, Francoise.
- https://hyperallergic.com
- https://www.artnews.com
- https://www.onefineart.com
- http://www.eteladnan.com
- https://en.wikipedia.org
- https://www.nytimes.com
- https://www.artsy.net
- http://www.alraidajournal.com

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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