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Society News

Mr. James Nevins, Ms. Gigi Gabr,  Mr. M. Shafik Gabr, 

Mr. James Nevins, Ms. Gigi Gabr,  Mr. M. Shafik Gabr, 
Ms. Georgette Mosbacher. 
Photo by: Mr. Patrick McMullan
M. Shafik Gabr, Chairman of ARTOC
Celebrates a New Book of His Art


New York:  Mr. M. Shafik Gabr, chairman of ARTOC, and his wife celebrated the publication of the Shafik Gabr Collection, a new book documenting the Egyptian financier's remarkable collection of Orientalist paintings.  Over 200 friends, admirers, and art experts gathered at the Pratt Mansion on Park Avenue, for an intimate candlelit cocktail party in the building's elegant 19th century paneled library and gallery.  Guests flew in from four continents.  Among them from the Middle East were HH Princess Lubna Al Saud, Simone Monasenbian, Hoda Zahid, and Shaker Khayat.  Joining them was the Egyptian Ambassador to the U.N. Maged Abdelaziz and U.N. Ambassadors Nicholas Veliotes and Mike Smith.  With still more guest coming from as far away as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Great Britain, and Columbia.  New Yorkers in attendance included the chairman of Sotheby's auction house, James Niven, fashion designer Mary McFadden, and Faberge CEO Georgette Mosbacher.  

Orientalist is a school of European painting depicting the Middle East. Mr. Gabr started his collection of Orientalist art in 1993 and today it is one of the finest in the world including works by such masters as Jean-Léon Gérôme, Fredrick Arthur Bridgman, and Gustav Bauernfeind.  The collection hangs in the Gabr Cairo residence and in the ARTOC headquarters.


Mr. Gabr, in brief remarks to his guests said, "I love these pictures of our country and our part of the world. I see in them a kind of communication between the East and the West, which is sometimes missing today and is in some ways a reflection of my own career.  I am grateful to my wife for the time she has spent by my side in museums, galleries and with experts studying this field".  In an introduction to the book Mr. Gabr expanded on this theme writing "From my earliest childhood, as the son of an Ambassador, I have traveled widely, and delighted in learning about other cultures. As a young man I visited all over Egypt, the Middle East, Africa and the West. But I believe that the art of travel, that particular way of standing back and looking at the world, starts in your own neighborhood."


Peter Trippi, an arts specialist, in a toast to the project, said  "The Shaifk Gabr Catalogue will be of invaluable help to scholars and institutions interested in Orientalism." 


The cocktail party kicked off a whirlwind trip to New York for Mr. Gabr, which included business meetings, conferences with art experts and statements to U.S. media.  In an interview on FOX Business News he commented on "the relative stability of the Egyptian economy where the toxic financial instruments impacting the West were not fully understood or employed."  However, he told the interviewer to also see that "the world economy is linked," and asked for better understanding of the Middle East, surprising Fox TV host Brian Sullivan by making an spontaneous invitation on air to "Please, come to Cairo."


The Shafik Gabr Collection is a boxed limited edition book, published privately as a gift for friends of Mr. and Mrs. M. Shafik Gabr.  An expanded edition will be published by ACR and available to the public in the Fall of 2009.  Mr. and Mrs. Gabr next travel to London to continue celebrating the publication.



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