SAFARKHAN DERIVES FROM SAFAR, THE ARABIC FOR JOURNEY, AND KHĀN, MEANING ABODE.
LIKE THE TRAVELLER ABODES OF OLD, we HAve LONG BEEN A PROUD HOME IN THE ILLUMINATING JOURNEY OF EGYPTIAN ART.
The original home of Modern egyptian art
Since 1968, Safarkhan Art Gallery has been the foremost patron, purveyor, educator and custodian of Egyptian fine art. For over five decades our legacy of innovative curating and collecting has been defined by our peerless ethos, embodying the constant dialogue between the old and the new.
a timeless devotion
At Safarkhan we believe in art as the world’s unifying language, and through our time-honoured role, we have dedicated ourselves to the journey of discovering, reviving and exhibiting a caliber of Egyptian art that has universal appeal for its inherent quality and message. We aspire to cultivate an appreciation of Egyptian art that is reflective of our individual and collective identities.
A HOLISTIC APPROACh
Our raison d'etre has always been curatorial before commercial. Whilst our historic connection to the pioneers of the Modernist period will always be at the heart of Safarkhan and our defining trademark, it is our ceaseless commitment to unearthing Egypt’s most inspiring contemporary talents that allows us to uphold this privileged heritage.
THE ART OF COLLECTING
We pride ourselves on our role as an educator and repository of knowledge on the historical significance of Egyptian art in all its forms. Becoming a discerning collector is an art in itself, and we are there every step of the way, from igniting that initial inspiration to cultivating the seasoned eye.
The GalleryA heritage since 1968
"Art is a journey, its power transcends."
— Sherwet Shafei
Private CollectionThe Modernists
Sherwet ShafeiFounder & OwnerFounder Sherwet Shafei nurtured her affinity for Egyptian art whilst spearheading the arts and culture programming on Egypt’s iconic Channel 2, prior to establishing Safarkhan as a gallery specializing in modern Egyptian art in the late 80s. Shafei fostered close personal relationships with those at the vanguard of Egypt’s Modernist movement which was blossoming at the time, including Mahmoud Said (1897-1964), Ragheb Ayad (1892-1982), Hamed Nada (1924-1990), Salah Abdel Kerim (1925-1988) and Abdel Hadi El Gazzar (1925-1966). Garnering herself an invaluable and unparalleled expertise in the field, Shafei was the first to organize solo exhibits for the exploits of this pioneer class.
The reputation of Safarkhan has consequently been a testament to Shafei’s own legacy as a veritable pillar of the national arts and culture scene, and her undying devotion to honoring the significance of the many diverse forms of Egyptian art and its vital role in society. In being the nation’s initial advocate for the illuminating power of Egyptian art, and shortly thereafter on the practice of investing in it both emotionally and financially, Shafei stimulated and effectively kick-started the market for Egyptian art almost single-handedly.
A pioneer to the pioneers of the Modernist movement, Shafei's unsurpassed and sought-after counsel has over the decades, guided the cultivation of vast personal acquisitions for countless high-profile commercial, public and private collectors. Under her visionary stewardship, Safarkhan has also been responsible for the reintroduction of some of the forgotten greats of the storied golden era of modern Egyptian art, such as Youssef Sida (1922-1994), Kamal Khalifa (1926-1968) and El Hussein Fawzi (1905-1990) before the turn of the century.
A chronicle of founder Shafei’s personal collection is recorded in the seminal biographical and illustrative book Twentieth Century Egyptian Art: The Private Collection of Sherwet Shafei by Mona Abaza with Collector's Notes by Sherwet Shafei. Over 200 stunning reproductions of paintings and sculpture from Shafei’s private collection are presented in a captivating full volume. Retracing the highlights of Egypt's Modernist period, it constitutes a treasure trove of knowledge, history and culture.
A Pioneer to the PioneersSherwet Shafei in Pictures
Mona Ahmed SaïdCo-owner & Director
In keeping with the twin focus of Safarkhan on the modern and contemporary, this innate duality is best reflected in the complementary mother-daughter partnership of Shafei alongside Mona Said. Since 2000, Said has cultivated the gallery’s contemporary art division, unearthing fresh graduates and unestablished talents, providing them with the essential mentorship and platform to flourish. Said’s vision has been a primary driver in bringing Egyptian contemporary art comfortably into the mainstream.
Launching celebrated names like Ahmed Farid, Ibrahim Khatab and Ahmed Saber both at home and abroad, she has also secured previously unknown artists their presence on the global art stage. Responsible for Safarkhan’s groundbreaking collaborations and forward-thinking events management, Said is constantly innovating and advancing Safarkhan’s invaluable role and influence. Most significantly, Said is one half of a co-ownership duo that epitomizes the ideal model of heritage and continuity which Safarkhan is exclusively reputed for in Egypt.
Vintage Poster RetrospectivePioneer Exhibitions