Kahlil Gibran: The Garden of the Prophet

Wed 28th November, 2018 – Sun 17th March, 2019
Immigration Museum
400 Flinders St, Melbourne
Price: $15
An exhibition celebrating one of the world’s greatest writers comes to Melbourne.

His work has inspired people from Indira Gandhi to Elvis Presley, JFK to John Lennon and even David Bowie. Now, the Immigration Museum celebrates the internationally beloved literary figure Kahlil Gibran with its latest exhibition Kahlil Gibran: The Garden of the Prophet.

Widely considered one of the world’s greatest poets, Lebanese-born Gibran migrated to America as a young man in the 1890s, where his work as both a writer and artist rapidly drew acclaim.

His greatest praise came with the publication of The Prophet in 1923, which went on to sell tens of millions of copies and become one of the best-known examples of religious fiction. Published in more than 100 languages and dialects, his masterpiece is still quoted today at weddings, in political speeches and at funerals.

From November 28, Kahlil Gibran: The Garden of the Prophet will explore his life and work through a collection of original paintings, sketches, manuscripts and artefacts on loan from the Gibran Museum in his hometown of Bsharri in Lebanon.

Included is a copy of The Prophet signed and annotated by Elvis Presley (who gave copies of it as gifts), a galley proof of The Prophet with Gibran’s edits and instructions to his publisher, and 12 original paintings created by Gibran to accompany The Prophet.

There’s also a range of complementary interviews to provide context for and insight into Gibran’s work and themes. They feature former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, spoken-word artist Nour Abouzeid, business leader the Hon Faddy Zouky OAM and DJ MzRizk.

When the exhibition was announced the Immigration Museum’s general manager Rohini Kappadath said, “To many, Gibran is a cultural icon and literary rebel. He took a great deal of inspiration from his experiences as a migrant, and strove constantly to resolve cultural and human conflict. We hope that visitors to this exhibition will be able to discover the power and relevance of his ideas and works today.”

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