Former AUC Instructor and Prominent Painter Gazbia Sirry Passes Away

Gaziba Sirry

World-famous Egyptian painter and former AUC instructor Gazbia Sirry passed away on November 10.

Throughout her career, the artist hosted 68 solo exhibitions for her work in Egypt, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Her award-winning work has been displayed in the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. She was also the first Egyptian to exhibit work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

In 2014, Shems Friedlander, professor of practice in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and the director of The Photographic Gallery, described Sirry as “a senior Egyptian artist who is recognized on an international level. Her value to both the University and Egypt is both as an artist and a historian of Egypt's culture for over 60 years. She has both joined and led the trends in Egyptian art for several decades."

The AUC Rare Books and Special Collections Library houses a collection of her work. The University also held an exhibition of oil paintings Sirry donated to AUC in 2014, entitled Lust for Color.

“[The objective of donating the] 16 paintings of my work representing the different developments of my art, in addition to my mural of 10 meters x 1.3 meters that was donated to AUC in the mid-seventies and is presently displayed in the Jameel Center, is to build a nucleus of an art museum at AUC to serve art students studying the modern art movement in Egypt,” explained Sirry at the exhibition's inauguration ceremony. “I have high hopes that AUC will achieve these objectives."