Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre, Giza

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When the name Ramses Wissa Wassef is mentioned, most people associate it with tapestry weaving. The tapestries of the Center have become a national treasure and pride and though they are magnificent, valuable works of art, Ramses began his journey of creativity through them but by no means ended with them.



“We feel that we have done a fraction of what is possible and we hope to widen the range of activities offered to the children.” (R.W.W. from his book “woven by hand” 1972)

This group is dedicated to Ramses Wissa Wassef’s vision to build confident, skilled, self-satisfied human beings through the support and encouragement of what potentially exists in all of us, the ability to create art.

The art work therefore is the proof of the success of Ramses’ methods and beliefs on art education but he intended them to be the medium and not final aim. He introduced many different activities to the children including stoneware ceramics, batik, stained glass, writing stories and even building dome houses.

Ramses and Sophie’s purpose in founding the Center was to unveil what creative force children are born with and to use their creativity to provide them with a better life and peaceful, confident personalities, as well as stressing that the role of the adult was to encourage the child to discover his abilities and develop them not mould them into copies of themselves.

“Where the expression of feelings is involved, criticism is often a crippling intrusion...the child cannot defend himself against adult criticism...The result is the denial of another part of himself. When the limit is reached, he loses the very desire to express himself.” R.W.W. ( “woven by hand” 1972)

The tapestries, ceramics and batiks we see today are the result of the challenges Ramses and his family (his wife Sophie and two daughters Suzanne & Yoanna) faced on their way to proving the existing potentials of their fellow human beings. The obstacles of societal norms, their acceptance of and adaptation to a very different society to their own (with its own set of principles and rules) while at the same time educating this society without imposing on these principles and always respecting them.

Through Ramses’ book “Woven by hand” and by telling the stories of the artists and directors of the Center, we trace the steps of Ramses, Sophie, Suzanne & Yoanna to proving his beliefs on art education, architecture and healthy human development.
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  • I was in Giza and knew of this Art Center from exhibits that had in the USA and wanted to go. It was worth getting a driver to take me, twice. I did not have the time to shop on my first visit and wen...  more »
  • This is one of Cairo's best-kept secrets, a must for travellers looking for beauty and authenticity away from the tourist hordes. I first came 20 years ago when I was living in Cairo, and just returne...  more »
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