Dr. Ellen Frank, visionary founder and artistic director of the Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to global peace and understanding through the visual arts. Artist, scholar and writer, Dr. Ellen Frank's many awards in painting, book design, and scholarship include a Fulbright Fellowship, National EndowmentfortheArts,FordFoundationFellowship. Dr.FrankstudiedatYaleandholdsaninterdisciplinarydoctorate in Literature and the Visual Arts from Stanford University.
View Dr. Ellen Frank's Website
Dr. Frank's most recent works, a collection titled "Cities of Peace," will be shown in Poland:
CITIES OF PEACE TREASURE SUITE
Ceremonial opening of the exhibition on the occasion of the 70th Commemoration of the Liberation of Auschwitz
25.01.2015, at 17:00
International Youth Meeting Centre,
The House of Silence Oœwiêcim/Auschwitz, Legionów 11 Poland
CITIES OF PEACE® is a collection of gold-illuminated paintings honoring the history and culture of world cities that have experienced major conflict and trauma: Baghdad, Beijing, Hiroshima, Jerusalem, Kabul, Lhasa, Monrovia, New York, Sarajevo. Cities of Peace directs world attention to the critical role of cities in sustaining what is creative and hopeful in civilization. Cities of Peace emphasizes understanding as prerequisite to peace, and celebrates the best of the human spirit. Inspired by the monumental works, The Cities of Peace Treasure Suite is set of gicléeprintshand- illuminated with 22 karat gold leaf and other precious metals.
22-karat moon gold, 12-karat white gold, egg tempera on Belgian linen
(69 x 104 in.)
Leaf, gift of Richard Swaim
In this work, the symbolic winter-blooming plum blossom cascades across the once-secret “Pre-Attack Mosaic” photograph of Hiroshima taken by U.S. military aerial reconnaissance in April 1945, a few months before the atomic bomb was dropped on the city. The five emperors of historical Hiroshima, once an island castle town built on a shallow bay, are represented either in portrait or by a distinctive flag. Large-scale human figures, tucked into the white gold and moon gold leaf, face us, stand sideways, and even dance. Grace and hope ride the wind as it sweeps the plum blossom across our collective memory.
4 types of 22-karat gold leaf, mica, egg
tempera on Belgian linen
(69 x 104 in.)
Inspired by the scenic approach to Jerusalem—the cab rounding a corner, the first glimpse of the old city wall, and the city itself hovering behind King David’s Gate—the painting celebrates the Golden City. Based on early photographs that capture the shape of the hill upon which Jerusalem sits, the work records the wall, the Golden Gate, the Dome of the Rock, and the city in its entirety—abstracted, interpreted, felt, and loved.
22-karat gold leaf, 23-karat red gold, 12-karat white gold, 22-karat moon gold, mica and bronze powders, egg tempera on Belgian linen
(104 x 69 in.)
This painting celebrates Beijing as a sacred city, marking the proportions of its city plan (the map of old Beijing), star pattern (the Purple Protected Enclosure), and geographic site (the Luoshu and Hetu diagrams). Through the large-scale figures, the work honors Beijing in dance (referencing the tomb painting The Dancing Girl in Red), in costume (inspired by the handscroll Court Ladies Wearing Flowered Head Dresses), and in cityscape (based on the scroll The Splendor of an Imperial Capital).With a north-south axis, setting the Forbidden City in the painting’s center, the work proclaims that this complex, magnificent place—both ancient and modern—is where the heavens touch the earth, conferring majesty and light. In fact, the term Tiananmen, forever linked with Beijing, means “heavenly peace.”
22-karat gold leaf, 23-karat red gold, palladium leaf, mica, egg tempera on Belgian linen
(69 x 104 in.)
Leaf, gift of an anonymous donor
Baghdad was once called Dar es Salam, meaning “City of Peace.” Inspired by that fact and by the city’s extraordinary history, the painting features layers of the map that chase more than five thousand years of splendid, then destroyed grandeur of what was once the greatest city on earth.
Included in this work are the cuneiform creation myth found in Iraq on a clay tablet dating to 3000 B.C.E. and an aerial photograph of Baghdad from 1925 C.E. The painting honors Baghdad as emerging from the cradle of civilization, the Round City (762 C.E.), center of a great cultural and intellectual renaissance, and site of Islamic architectural achievement.
Baghdad: City of Peace, Truly takes its border pattern from the Al-Kadhimain Mosque (1515 C.E.), the great Shi’ite shrine there. The painting’s center, the Round City with its radiating gates and waterways, encloses a mirrored muqarnas, referencing the medieval Zumurrud Khatan Tomb, whose dramatic, lobed exterior models its interior form. Two large-scale figures bow to the outer world, as we bow to the people of Iraq, in honor of them and their great city.
The cuneiform text in the painting reads: “When heaven above was not yet named, nor earth below pronounced by name, Apsu, the first one, their begetter and maker Tiamat, who bore them all, had mixed their waters together, but had not formed pastures, nor discovered reed-beds. When yet no gods were manifest, nor names pronounced, nor destinies decreed, then gods were born within them.” (translator, Stephanie Dalley)