George Bahgory: 90 Years of Giving.
by Fatenn Mostafa-Kanafani
In 2019, George Bahgory established The George Bahgory Museum. Set in a large apartment in downtown Cairo, the museum boasts hundreds of paintings dating from the early 1950s; sculptures in different media from bronze to stone; a room filled with carnets de voyage, hand-painted carpets, and thousands of drawings. It is a never-ending labyrinth where each work narrates a piece of our history. Just like George, the museum is a work of art. But who is the man behind the museum? My research then began.
Never have I been able to find, collect, and gather as much material for any Egyptian artist as for George Bahgory. No other Egyptian artist seems to have triggered as much interest in his life and work as Bahgory has. It is both mindboggling and revelatory. I feel privileged to be surrounded by close to one hundred items: books, monographs, exhibition catalogs, pictures, photographs, black and white and in colors, alone or with other people, posters, calendars even. It is heavy and dusty. So, where does one start? And more importantly, what is there to add?
Nito, George’s Muse
Nitokriss and George have been married for 65 years. On 30 August 1959, they tied the knot at the bride’s house in Zeitoun in Cairo. Inseparable since their marriage is more than an alliance as husband and wife. George Bahgory established himself as one of the most influential artists in the Arab world and made Nitokriss, his muse, serve as the model for many of his paintings. A graduate of Cairo’s Fine Arts School in 1959, Nitokriss Kamel Gouda (1932), known as Nito, forged a career as an interior design engineer working for the Egyptian National Television. Eventually, she reached the position of Deputy Minister. An accomplished painter and sculptor herself, she chose to take backstage to dedicate her life towards supporting her husband at the expense of her own career as an artist. Nito was not comfortable with exhibiting or being in the limelight. Instead, she was integral to Bahgory’s success, managing his correspondence, maintaining records of his paintings, and liaising with gallerists to keep his career ticking over. Her biggest contribution perhaps is her relentless effort to establish The George Bahgory Museum in Downtown Cairo.
Nito is one of these creative women who have their work overlooked or eclipsed by their husbands’ fame. But in Nito’s case, it was her choice to be viewed as the wife of a celebrated artist, prioritizing her man’s success over her own career.
Today, we want to celebrate Nito, the wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and George Bahgory’s most loyal companion, lover, and fan.
90 عاما من العطاء
يتشرف جاليري ارت توكس بعمل احتفاليه مهمه جدا باستخراج كتالوج ملون ومميز لمتحف الفنان العالمي جورج بهجوري وعرض مجموعه لوحات رائعة من المتحف بجاليري ارت توكس يوم السبت الموافق ٢٦ فبراير الساعة السادسة مساء
في عام 2019 أسس جورج بهجوري متحف جورج بهجوري. يقع المتحف في شقة كبيرة بوسط القاهرة، ويضم مئات اللوحات التي تعود إلى أوائل الخمسينيات من القرن الماضي. منحوتات بوسائط مختلفة من البرونز إلى الحجر؛ غرفة مليئة بقطائن السفر والسجاد المرسوم باليد وآلاف الرسومات. إنها متاهة لا تنتهي حيث يروي كل عمل جزءًا من تاريخنا. المتحف عمل فني مثله مثل جورج. لكن من هو الرجل الذي يقف وراء المتحف؟ ثم بدأ بحثي.