Medium: acrylic and charcoal on canvas
Signed and dated 1989 lower left
Measures: 52×80 inches
Farhat Art Museum Collection
Title: “Champ d’Or (from Champ d’Or” symbols series),”
Measures: 26.50″ x 36.25″
(67.31cm x 92.08cm)
Medium: Gouache and oil / Canvas
Signed: Lower Left and dated 1962
Farhat Art Museum Collection
Phillip Martin is little known in Australia, having spent most of his life abroad. Born in 1927 in England, he commenced painting at the Abbey Art Centre in London where he was greatly encouraged by Alan Davie. In 1950 he met Helen Marshall, his life partner and collaborator. In 1951 Martin painted his first “Affiches” on packing paper – “Affiches” were to become the central theme of his work. Martin and Marshall travelled extensively throughout Europe and later India. They left for Sydney in 1969, where he created his second reliefs in wood. They spent the 1970s in Lake Como, India, Paris and Milan, returning to live in Sydney in 1979 where Martin painted his important series Change Worlds. Martin’s first Australian solo show being in Sydney in 1985. His work is represented in public, institutional and private collections around the world
Measures: 33 x 16 inches
Medium: Mixed Medium
Farhat Art Museum Collection
I have been working as an artist for 27 years. My work is mainly sculptural in form and reflects my pleasure in materials such as fur, metal, quills, beads and stones. I like connecting unlike things. Sewing by hand is an important part of my process, not only for aesthetic reasons, but because its slow labor allows me to reflect on the work over time.
Some of my most recent works are based on stones, their physical heft or the outline of their shapes. Stones are good teachers, because they prompt questions: about time (“How old is the one I hold in my hand?”) and about space (“Where has this one traveled? Where am I going?”). They have something to say about patience and silence. And as anchors, they have freed me to try various artistic options.
Titled: The Souk in North Africa
Media: Oil on board, signed lower left
Measures: 12.25 x 9.50 inches
Farhat Art Museum Collection.
America’s first internationally renowned African-American artist, Henry Ossawa Tanner was born in Pittsburgh to a well-educated and devoutly religious family. When Henry was age 13, his father, the Reverend Benjamin Tucker Tanner, moved the family to Philadelphia. With the support of his parents and inspiration from the art of the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition, he enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy to study with Thomas Eakins who became a close friend.
Tanner briefly painted animals and was determined to become the “American Landseer” in response to the demand for animal portraits. Between 1886 and 1887 Tanner was an illustrator for Harper Brothers, a publishing firm willing to advance black artists and writers. He then moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he briefly and unsuccessfully ran a photography studio, but by 1891 he turned back to painting and sailed for France.
In Paris he studied at the Julian Academy with Benjamin Constant and J.P. Laurens. He received many honors and was considered a ‘strong man’ at Julian’s before his first Salon picture. He traveled to celebrated locations as Pont-Aven, but remained relatively unswayed by contemporary art movements. Tanner discovered the Salons and their power to advance a painter’s career, both abroad and in America. The acceptance of his painting, The Banjo Lesson by the 1894 Salon marked both a “turning point in his career and a shift in emphasis in his choice of subject, for it was his first major exploration of the pathos of the black in society.”
He returned briefly to Philadelphia but decided Paris was his natural home. At first, he was highly successful with genre painting but switched to religious subjects in the mid-1890’s and traveled extensively in the Near East to absorb Biblical references.
In 1899, Tanner married Jessie Macauley Olssen, a white Californian, and decided to make France his home for the remainder of his life. He feared that Americans would not be accepting of an interracial marriage. In 1908, he wrote of France, “There is a breadth, a generosity, an obsolete cosmopolitanism about her recognition of the fine arts, which bars no nationality, no race, no school, or variation of artistic method.”
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
Titled: Christ with Crown of Thorns
Media: charcoal and watercolor on paper / board
Measures: 33.5 x 25 inch
Farhat Art Museum Collection.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGjviJc7SOs
Gibran Khalil Gibran (Lebanese-American, 1883-1931):
A poet and painter, he was born January 6, 1883 in Besharri, Lebanon, the son of Khalil Gibran (a gambler and olive grove owner) and Kamila Rahme (a peddler). The boy was named by prefacing his father’s name Khalil with the surname of his paternal grandfather, thus Gibran Khalil Gibran.
Growing up poor, in later life Gibran would fabricate romantic stories about his family origins. Patricia Jobe Pierce wrote for the American National Biography (Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 929), “The intermingling of cultures (Syrian, Turkish, Persian, European), religions (Islam, Maronite Christianity, Catholicism), and languages (Semitic, Arabic, Syrian), as well as destitution, filled nineteenth-century Besharri and Gibran’s psyche.”
At the age of five, Gibran escaped his family for the fields to dream, meditate and draw. The olive groves became like a holy sanctuary in which he could express and nurture his artistic gifts. Although Gibran had no formal schooling in Besharri, a poet-teacher-painter-doctor named Selim Dahir taught him the rudiments of Arabic language and writing; introduced him to art, history and literature and inspired him to be a learned, sensitive artistic spirit whose passion was artistic creativity. The young Gibran identified experience as religious in nature.
His biographers Jean and Kahlil Gibran of Boston wrote in Kahlil Gibran, His Life and Work, (p. 19), “His early experiences, steeped…in the metaphor of the Gospels, served as the link in his poetry between East and West.”
In June of 1895, Kamila left Besharri with her children after Khalil humiliated the family by being found guilty of embezzlement to move in with cousins in Boston’s multi-cultural, impoverished South End, where Kamila opened a dry goods shop. When a teacher at the Quincy School misspelled Khalil as Kahlil, the young artist kept the new version of it.
Gibran’s overwhelming talent, good looks, romantic disposition and poetic nature fascinated Boston society and artists alike. In 1886, Gibran drew a MacMonnies Baccanale nymph bronze, a work that Bostonians found overly offensive, but which fellow artists appreciated. It drew the attention of Jessie Fremont Beale, who convinced photographer Fred Holland Day to allow the boy to pose and earn a salary doing so. Some of Day’s photographs of the striking Gibran are on exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts (January-February 2001).
Fred Holland Day introduced the charming Gibran to society elite as the poet-painter, and he was accepted by the city’s artistic and intellectual community (Charlotte Teller, women’s rights advocate; Josephine Peabody, who called Gibran “The Prophet,” a title he later used for his bestselling book; teacher Florence Pierce; artist Lilla Cabot Perry; and his patron, schoolteacher Mary Haskell, who rejected Gibran’s marriage proposal).
Copeland and Day published in “The Critic” Gibran’s poetry in 1898 and he attended Beirut’s Madrasat-al-Hikman college, founded a magazine al-Manarah (The Beacon) with Joseph Hawaiik, won an award for poetry and returned to Boston. His first solo exhibition of drawings was at Wellesley College (May 1902). The loss of his mother that year and the Harcourt Studio fire of 1904 that destroyed his work devastated Gibran. Writing of utopias, life and love, Gibran viewed death as a liberator that frees humankind from suffering and pain.
Mary Haskell paid for some of Gibran’s poetry to be published and in 1908, she sponsored a three-year trip to Paris so that he could study art at the Académie Julian (where he completed “The Ages of Women” and a portrait of Auguste Rodin, 1910). When he returned to Boston he said “everything seemed dead.”
Going to New York City, Gibran publicly spoke of injustices in the Middle East, painted with Albert Pinkham Ryder and in 1912 published “The Broken Wings”. In 1914 after “The Madman” was released a New York reviewer for the Call named him “the greatest poet of Arabia.”
In 1919, A. Knopf published “Twenty Drawings of the Human Form”, and although he published many poet novellas, the greatest of his writing is the 1923 “The Prophet” with distinctive views of love and marriage. The poet’s last work “The Wanderer” (1932) spoke of a male (perhaps Gibran himself) as, “…a man but with a cloak and a staff with a veil of paint upon his face.” Gibran died of a heart attack in New York City a celebrated man of arts and letters.
Gibran’s paintings of ethereal nude bodies floating through space, of haunting heads, and intertwined heterosexual couples, embracing or mothers holding infants, are tender reminders of the fragility of life and of the haunting longevity of death.
Bibliography: Jean and Kahlil Gibran, Kahlil Gibran, His Life & Work (1974, definitive text); New York Herald Tribune, art critique, Dec. 20, 1914; art critique, New York Evening Sun, Dec. 28, 1909; Nation, Apr. 10, 1920 (regarding his drawings); Rollene W. Saal, “Speaking of Books: The Prophet,” New York Times Book Review, May 16, 1965; (obituary) Boston Evening Transcript and the Boston Post, both April 14, 1931.