Anna Rychter May
watercolors at the Jerusalem Fund in
A rare collection of
watercolor paintings by the late Anna Rychter May was on display at
Gallery Al Quds at the Jerusalem Fund in Washington DC
from October 24 through November 14, 2014. The 13 exquisite pieces reflect the
work of Anna Rychter May while she lived in Jerusalem
since her arrival in the City from Europe in 1923 till
of these art pieces were commissioned by the late Dr.
Rolla Foley, an American Quaker who taught music at the
Friends School in Ramallah between 1938 and 1946. The
watercolors were on loan to the Jerusalem Fund and are part
of the collection of Farah and Hanan Munayyer.
The opening reception
held on Friday October 24 was attended by over fifty
people from Washinton DC, New York City and Virginia. During the reception the
Munayyers met some old friends and made new ones.
Due to Rolla Foley's interest
in music, many of his
commissioned paintings included Middle Eastern musical
instruments as seen in these watercolors.
Exhibit invitation card
Early 20th Century Watercolors
Palestinian Heritage Foundation Collection
By Dagmar Painter
Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al-Quds in Washington DC opened a
stunning exhibition of rare watercolors from the collection
of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation on October 24, 2014.
The 13 works were painted by the late
artist, Anna Rychter-May.
Rychter-May (1865-1955 b.
Regensburg, Germany), was an early twentieth century artist
known for her watercolors of Palestine. She lived and
painted in Jerusalem from the 1920s to 1955. Though
painted in the 1940’s, the scenes depicted offer a glimpse
into traditional life in Jerusalem. Painted with painstaking
attention to detail and an exquisite eye for color, the
scenes depict weddings, a fruit market, streetscapes, and
family life, of Palestinians and an Eastern European Jewish
family. Especially interesting is a series of depictions of
musicians with their classical instruments, specially
commissioned from the artist. In all cases, the images
serve as historical documentation as well as breathtakingly
The opening was well attended, with
over 50 people enjoying the work and a short talk by Hanan
Munayyer. Of great interest was a visit by a professor
from CUNY whose research intersects with this subject.
She was thrilled to find these artworks and will merge her
own research with that of the Munayyers to advance the
scholarship on this heretofore little known artist.
From the book, Traditional Palestinian Costume, Origin
and Evolution, by Hanan Karaman Munayyer:
“The watercolors in this
collection were acquired by Rolla Foley from the artist
herself in Jerusalem during the early 1940s through 1952.
Letters exchanged between Rychter-May and Foley are also in
Rychter-May was married to
Polish artist Tadeusz Rychter, whom she met while living in
Germany. In 1923 they left together for Jerusalem,
which was at that time under the British Mandate. They were
both excellent watercolorists who showed in many
exhibitions, including a joint one in Jerusalem in 1927.
During World War II, Tadeusz went back to Europe for a visit
and is thought to have died there. After the war of
1948, Anna moved to what became known as Arab East
Jerusalem, part of Jordan, where she died in 1955 at the age
of 90. None of her watercolors in this collection are
titled or dated, but they are all signed clearly on the
lower right corner: ‘A.Rychter-May, Jerusalem.’”
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2014 Year of Solidarity with the
Palestinian People at the UN
n Monday, November
10th, the United Nations celebrated the year 2014 as part
International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian
People culminated with a stunning
fashion show held at the organization headquarters in New
York, by the reknown Italian
Jamal Taslaq, who creatively incorporated
traditional Palestinian embroidery into his unique modern
style. The ECOSOC Chamber was packed with
an audience that attended the event.
fashion designer of Palestinian background
Farah and Hanan Munayyer
co-founders of the Palestinian Heritage Foundation were in
attendance at the personal invitation of the Honorable Ryad
Mansour, Ambassador of the State of Palestine at the UN. The
Foundation presented the designer Taslaq with a copy of Hanan's book
"Traditional Palestinian Costume: Origins and Evolution".
Click below link to see the presentation of the book as
aired by Al Mayadeen TV.
On Monday November 24, 2014
the United Nations celebrated the International Day of
Solidarity with the Palestinian people. Several UN
representatives spoke about the plight of
the Palestinian people since 1948 including Secretary
General Ban Ki Moun and ambassador Ryad Mansour.
The reception which was attended by over 400 people was
followed by a special concert conducted by the Joubran brothers
performing specially for this occasion.
Atallah Hanna visits the Foundation
Sunday November 30 and during His visit to New Jersey,
Archbishop Atallah Hanan, Orthodox Archbishop of Sabastia,
Palestine, paid a visit to the Palestinian Heritage
Foundation in West
Caldwell, New Jersey. The Archbishop who is an ardent
supporter of the Foundation activities in the United States
and around the world has attended both the 20th and 25th
anniversary banquets held in New Jersey coming all the way
Twenty Universities to Receive Hanan's Book
The Palestinian Heritage
Foundation is happy to announce that its project to
place the book "Traditional Palestinian
Costume: Origins and Evolution" into Middle Eastern sections of
university and public libraries is going forward.
We are also happy to
report that Mr. and Mrs. Samih Taleb Darwazah, ardent
supporters of the Foundation including the Book Project were kind to
sponsor the donation of the last twenty copies of
the book remaining in the Foundation's possesion in the
United States to university libraries.
Foundation has been working through several personal friends to place
these copies in the different university libraries. So
far copies of the book were placed in the following
William Paterson University
Al Najah University
Ball State University
University of Illinois
University of New York
Bir Zeit University
Institute for the Study
of the Ancient World
Cliffside Public library
Princeton Public library
Reactions to Hanan's
Hanan your book
is a TREASURE, thank you, thank you, thank you
sooooooo much for taking the time to produce such a
valuable record of our culture and heritage.
The book arrived safely
this morning and we are glad to add it to our
collection. This is a really nice book that I believe
will benefit our students and faculty.
What an amazing
book. Thank you again for your consideration and
Thank you for the
gift Traditional Palestinian Costume: Origins
and Evolution by Hanan Karaman Munayyer made
possible by a generous donation from Mr. and Mrs.
. The University Library
serves its community by providing services and
resources that support student pursuits for academic
success and faculty endeavors for knowledge creation
and classroom instruction.
Arthur W. Hafner,
The Gorabs Donate
Men's Garbs to Foundattion
Mr. and Mrs. Nick Gorab of New
Jersey have donated a Syrian men's "Kumbaz"
with its complimentary cloak and
"Hatta" to the Foundation. All three pieces are made of silk.
The items originally belonged to Nick Gorab's grandfather,
Nicola Gorab Sr. who lived at the time in Homs, Syria and later
died there (see picture below). The kumbaz and
complimentary items were brough back to the United
States by Nick's father who visited his father in Homs, Syria in the early 1970's.
These three items are over one hundred years old.
Shown in the picture below is Nicola Gorab
with wife Miriam Zeitoun. Nicola is wearing the Kumbaz and
jacket. This picture was sent by Nicola Gorab Sr. to
his sons Aref and Sadek who immigrated to the United
States from Syria. Both Aref and Sadek are the
uncles of Nick Gorab.
Foundation would like to take this opportunity to
thank the Gorabs for this generous donation.
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