Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), Lebanese-born artist and writer is best known for authoring "The Prophet", a collection of short philosophical essays that became one of the top-selling books of the twentieth century. In 1895, Gibran, age twelve, immigrated to Boston with his family. Through a series of important connections stemming from the recognition of his creative talents at a local settlement house, the aspiring artist met Mary Haskell, the headmaster of a Boston girls' school. Despite ten years separation in age, the two formed an important lifelong relationship that culminated in Haskell's patronage and provided Gibran with the security to pursue his career. In 1950, Haskell (who became Mary Haskell Minis in 1926) donated her personal collection of nearly one hundred works of art by Gibran to the Telfair Museum of Art. This exhibition catalog features the museum's collection of work by and about Gibran, the largest holding in the United States. The collection spans Gibran's career from his first exhibition at photographer Frederick Holland Day's studio in Boston in 1904 to works created during the last years of his life.
It includes photographs of Gibran and his New York studio and a portrait of the young artist painted by Lilla Cabot Perry. In addition to discussing the visionary artist's creations, this catalog addresses Gibran's relationship with Haskell and the development of her personal collection, which makes up the majority of the Telfair's Gibran holdings.
Suheil Bushrui is the George and Lisa Zakhem Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland in College Park. Bushrui has written and edited several publications about Gibran and his work, including co-authoring the 1998 biography "Kahlil Gibran, Man and Poet." Tania June Sammons is the curator of the Owens-Thomas House and Decorative Arts at the Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia. Sammons has studied, curated exhibitions, and written a number of publications about Gibran, his art, and his patron Mary Haskell Minis.