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Drawing Egypt: From the Artistic Legacy Collection at the American University in Cairo

Born in 1907, Margo Veillon was one of Egypt's best-loved artists. Presented here is a sampling of her work spanning seventy-five years of her productive career, in a variety of graphic media-pen and ink, watercolor, pencil, and crayon, as represented in a legacy bequeathed to the American University in Cairo. Although she lived part of her life in Europe, it is clearly Egypt that held her imagination and inspired her artistic innovation. Possessed with an ability to capture the energy of a specific moment in time, Margo Veillon drew people and animals, landscapes and street scenes with her characteristic sly humor and gift for depicting a lively vignette or serene visual moment in just a few strokes. These threads and others no less individual and innovative make up the extraordinarily rich tapestry of Margo Veillon's artistic career, brought together in the AUC Permanent Collection.


Margo Veillon was born in Cairo in 1907, the daughter of a Swiss businessman and his Austrian wife. She spent much of her artistic career capturing the verve and movement of daily life in Egypt, and since 1936 the world of Upper Egypt and Nubia. She died in 2003. Margo Veillon: the BurstingMovement, Egyptian Harvests, Egyptian Festivals, Painting Egypt, Nubia, and Witness of a Century were published by the AUC Press in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007.

Bruno Ronfard lived in Cairo for a number of years and worked regularly with Margo Veillon on her collection from 1997 until her death. He is the editor of Margo Veillon: Witness of a Century (AUC Press, 2007).

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