‘Gibran Kahlil Gibran’ Collection of the Soumaya Museum, attraction for national and international researchers
One of the permanent collections of the Soumaya Museum that sparks the greatest attention and interest among researchers is of the Lebanese poet, painter, novelist and essayist Gibran Kahlil Gibran, known as ‘the poet of exile’.
This collection is composed of a little more than 100 personal objects of Gibran, including manuscripts, unpublished texts and personal articles, such as his correspondence, his watercolor box, his own death mask, a cedar of Lebanon branch that he used as a bookmark and the manuscript of ‘The Madman’, which celebrated 100 years since its appearance last year.
According to Alfonso Miranda Márquez, director of the Soumaya Museum, to preserve the body of work of the poet there are six restoration experts acting as a laboratory team, and they are specialized according to the different materials of each object.
“The majority of our experts are Mexicans who graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía Manuel del Castillo Negrete”, he indicated.
The life and work of the poet have been studied by researchers from all over the world, including Miranda Márquez. Currently, there are more than 100 research projects involving the Gibran Kahlil archive.
Researchers from countries such as Lebanon, France, United States and Mexico continuously come to the Soumaya Museum to consult the collection, he stated.
This Gibran Kahlil collection, which includes the rights over his work, was obtained by the Carlos Slim Foundation in 2007, when the nephew and godson of Gibran, also called Kahlil Gibran, contacted the Foundation to offer the collection in order to disseminate the works in a cultural site.
As part of the Carlos Slim Foundation, the Soumaya Museum opened its doors to the public in 1994. It is a non-profit cultural institution dedicated to collecting, researching, conserving, disseminating and presenting artistic expressions mainly from Mexico and Europe.
The purpose of the Soumaya Museum is to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of esthetic works through: permanent, temporary and itinerant exhibits, catalogs and monthly publications, learning spaces, conferences, cinema series, interactive programs and more.