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Monday, March 9, 2020 through Sunday, March 29, 2020


Swirbul Library
Art Gallery

Artist Exhibition: Juliana Seraphim

Adelphi University is pleased to present works from the University Art Collection by Palestinian artist Juliana Seraphim. Born 1934 in Jaffa, Seraphim and her family were displaced Palestinian refugees. She and her family first fled to Sidon by boat when she was 14, and later emigrated to Beirut where she took art classes while living off refugee relief. Seraphim studied under the Lebanese artist Jean Khalifeh and developed her own style while gradually developing renown in Beirut. She was awarded grants to study art throughout Europe and eventually represented Lebanon in biennials in Alexandria (1962), Paris (1963), and São Paulo (1965).

Most of Seraphim’s Lebanese contemporaries used a figurative style to represent the Palestian struggle, however, she places the human form in surrealistic scenes intertwined with complex formal designs. Seraphim claims that the source of this surrealist imagery comes from childhood memories of faded frescoes of winged beings on the ceiling of her grandfather’s home, and former convent, in Jerusalem. Her depiction of the female form often leans twords erotic depictions, which were taboo in her muslim tradition and helped to push the boundries of what was acceptable for art and artists in Lebanon.

The works included in this exhibition are a part of a series Seraphim completed in 1971 for Shorewood Publishers. The series consisted of 27 engravings representing nine winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Adelphi University Art Collection holds 11 prints from 6 editions representing St. John Perse, T.S. Eliot, Gabriela Mistral and Miguel Asturias. Miguel Asturias was a Guatemalan poet, novelist, playwright and journalist who won the Nobel Prize in 1967. Two of the prints representing him in this exhibition are co-signed by him and are especially rare within this series of prints.

For further information, please contact:

Jon Duff
Exhibitions and Art Collection Curator
Archives and Special Collections
p – 516.877.3126
e –

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