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Etel Adnan: 5 Things To Know About The Lebanese American Poet And Artist

Today’s Google doodle pays homage to the talented Lebanese-American poet and artist Etel Adnan. Adnan’s legacy encapsulates a variety of the arts, her métiers include being an artist, poet, writer, professor and more.  She is a pioneer in the contemporary art world, with her vivid imagination and Van Gogh-inspired use of colors.

Etel Adnan

Photo: Google

Here are 5 things to know about Etel Adnan:

She moved to California in the 1950s

Etel Adnan, was born in Beirut in 1925, grew up in Lebanon, and later migrated to California in the 1950s when she was 24. Her new home was a great source of inspiration in her artworks, she has vibrantly showcased Mount Tamalpais, a peak in Marin County, California, and the Northern Californian landscape around San Francisco Bay in several paintings.

She is a Sorbonne, Berkeley and Harvard Alumni

The multi-disciplinary talent hones multiple degrees from esteemed universities including Sorbonne in Paris, University of California, Berkeley, and lastly, the prestigious Harvard University, where she acquired a degree in philosophy. Adnan later taught philosophy at Dominican College of San Rafael, California among other universities in the country before moving back to Beirut to hone the title of cultural editor for two daily newspapers, Al Safa and later L’Orient le Jour.

Her literary career began way before her artistic endeavors

Prior to her fame as an artist, Etel Adnan was an established writer, poet and academic. She published her first ever poetry book named Moonshots in the 1960s, ever since she has produced several books in both English and French. Her novel Sitt Marie Rose, set before and during the 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War, was published in France in 1977. It was received very positively, and garnered several accolades from the literary community, and has since been translated into more than 10 languages.

She was a huge Van Gogh admirer

Etel Adnan and Van Gogh’s masterpieces share several similarities, as she was a loyal devotee of the acclaimed artist. Adnan’s love for Van Gogh is prominent through her use of vivid color and brush strokes that portray California’s allure. Similar to Van Gogh, most of her works include natural emblems, like trees, the sun, mountains and landscapes.

Her work has been in display in several esteemed galleries

She has exhibited her work around the globe in major metropolises including: Paris, London, New York, Zurich, Marrakesh and more. In 2014, Adnan was featured in the Whitney Biennial, and her works are included in the archives of Tate, Whitney Museum of American Art, Sharjah Art Museum.

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