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Samia Halaby

(b. 1937) Born in Jerusalem in 1936, Samia Halaby is a leading Palestinian painter and art historian. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Design from the University of Cincinnati in 1959 and a Master of Fine Arts from Indiana University in 1963. Shortly after, she began an extensively active career in American academia, teaching art at university level for seventeen years, a decade of which she spent as an Associate Professor at the world renowned Yale School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut, USA (1972-82). Her teaching tenure also includes University of Hawaii, Kansan City Art Institute and Michigan State University. Although based in New York, Halaby has worked in the Arab world, teaching at such foremost institutions as Birzeit University in the West Bank and Darat-Al Fununin Amman, Jordan. Since 1970, Halaby has held countless exhibitions, both in the US and abroad and has been featured in a number of ground-breaking exhibitions of Arab art, such as Forces of Change: Artists of the Arab World at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. (1994) and Made in Palestine at the Station Museum of Art in Houston, Texas (2003). In 1983, she created a computer program for kinetic paintings, as aspect in her oeuvre that resulted in several audio-visual presentations a tour of Syria, Palestine and Jordan and a performance accompanied by live musicians at New York’s Lincoln Center (1998). Her work is housed in several notable institutions worldwide, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, The British Museum, London, The Guggenheim Museum, New York and the MATHAF Museum, Doha. As an art historian, Halaby has been instrumental in curating several exhibitions in the US, such as The Subject of Palestine at the DePaul University in Chicago and Williamsburg Bridges Palestine at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in New York, which featured 50 artists – the largest display of Palestinnian art in US history to date. In 2002, her many years as a scholar lead to the publishing of Liberation Art of Palestine, one of the few English-language books on contemporary Palestinian art available today.