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For the first time in Australia - Kahlil Gibran Exhibition
Many people have heard of the poet and illustrator Kahlil Gibran. He was born in Lebanon and was also an author, artist and journalist, who lived from 1883 to 1931 and he died in New York. Gibran migrated to America as a young man in the 1890s, where his work as both a writer and artist was quickly recognised as being brilliant. He also spent extended periods in Paris.
His greatest work came with the publication of The Prophet in 1923, which sold tens of millions of copies and become one of the best-recognised publications of religious fiction. Published in more than 100 languages and dialects, his masterpiece is still quoted today at weddings, in political speeches and at funerals.
Now there will be an exhibition which has opened at the Immigration Museum, 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne. There will be more than 50 artworks and manuscripts displayed and never before seen in Australia.
The exhibition, which was initiated by Steve Bracks following a visit to the Gibran Museum in Bsharri, northern Lebanon, demonstrates that even while he was born into a Maronite Christian family, he was also deeply influenced by the mysticism of the Sufis, European romanticism and even surrealism.
Gibran has written very powerful texts, which over many years, have continued to influence artists including Elvis Presley, who gave away copies to friends and family. He also influenced people like John Lennon, Johnny Cash and David Bowie, all of whom even embedded some of his words and ideas in some of their work.
The exhibition is entitled Kahlil Gibran: The Garden of the Prophet and it celebrates the life and work of this literary genius, Kahlil Gibran.
Gibran is considered the third bestselling poet of all time. The exhibition includes a number of paintings and writings of Khalil Gibran, as well as some of his personal items, which were brought specifically to Melbourne from the Museum of Gibran in Bsharri. The exhibition will be on until March 2019.
Gibran's writings of The Prophet have never been out of print in all this time. These writings are featured in the exhibition alongside a galley proof and plate that were created before publishing.
At this classic exhibition, you can reflect on Gibran's world, get to understand his key relationships and rediscover the power and relevance of his work in this day and age.
Kahlil Gibran: The Garden of the Prophet is presented by the Bank of Sydney, supported by the Gibran National Committee. It has received grant funding from the Council for Australian-Arab Relations of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Leila Alhagh is an exhibition researcher who first read The Prophet in her birthplace, Iran, about 15 years ago. She had read it in Farsi and claimed that it was "beautifully translated".
Leila, while working on the Garden of the Prophet exhibition, had to visit the Gibran Museum as one of her main objectives. This is in a mountainside monastery overlooking a lovely valley and the museum's treasures stunned her, as did learning more about Gibran's life.
You can read more about this fascinating event at this link.