"Sunset", 1982

wool tapestry

1.05m x 1.15m

  by Ashour Messelhi,

(born 1948)

The Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre is the home of a unique experiment in tapestry weaving that has produced extraordinary works admired and collected by museums and galleries around the world. The life work of its founder Ramses Wissa Wassef (1911-1974) was dedicated to releasing the innate creativity of young Egyptian villagers freed from the constraints of a formal education. He wrote:

"I had this vague conviction that every human being was born an artist, but that his or her gifts could be brought out only if artistic activity was encouraged from early childhood by way of practising a craft... The creative energy of the average person is being sapped by a conformist system of education and the extension of industrial technology to every sphere of modern life."

Since 1952 two generations of weavers have developed in the Art Centre Ramses Wissa Wassef established with his wife Sophie at Harrania, near Giza. Nine of the original group of children who began working around the age of twelve, many of them now grandparents, are still weaving under the guidance of Sophie Wissa Wassef. A second generation of weavers guided by the Wissa Wassef's daughters Suzanne and Yoanna, continue to produce wool and cotton tapestries that are remarkable and unique works of art.

On the following pages are a brief history of the school, an on-line gallery displaying highlights of the work of the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre weavers.


 Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre, Cairo website www.wissawassef.com

 About the Art Centre

 View a gallery of masterpieces from the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre   Museum

 View photographs of the water damage to the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre, the petition and its outcome

 Visiting the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre

 Listen to the ipodcast celebrating 50 Years of the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre. Interviews with Suzanne Wissa Wassef, Ikram Noshi, Hilary Weir & Barbara Heller.

 Buy your copy of the "Egyptian Landscapes. 50 Years of Tapestry Weaving at Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre" published 2006.

 Petrie Museum Acquires Wissa Wassef Tapestry

 British Museum Acquires Wissa Wassef Tapestry

 Bristol Museum Acquires Wissa Wassef Tapestry

 The Victoria and Albert Museum Acquires Wissa Wassef Tapestry

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter Acquires Wissa Wassef Tapestry

 Whitworth Art Gallery Acquires Wissa Wassef Tapestry

 Nature in Art Trust Exhibition, 2009

 Read about the 2006 London Exhibition

 About the RamsesWissa Wassef Exhibition Trust and the Trustees

 "Threads of Life" -more about the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre





Version 20/09/2013, All text copyright Ramses Wissa WassefArt Centre,

Photographs copyright Werner Forman