About the Art Centre
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.