Salah Abdel Kerim
A third child of five, Salah Abdel Kerim was born in the Egyptian city of Fayiom in 1925. His father was a public server. The family moved in 19737 to Cairo and a year later the Abdel Karim met Hussein Bikar, the great artist, under whom he studied for two years in Qena school. In 1940, Abdel Karim he met Hussein Yousif and the members of Contemporary Art Society in King Farouk secondary school based in Abassia area, where he made his first acquaintance with their surrealism.
In 1943, he joined the faculty of Fine Arts and majored ornamentation. He graduated in 1947 with t grade average point of excellent with honor.
He was nominated as an assistant in the same faculty. In 1952, he traveled to France where he studied theater decoration and advertisement.
In 1956, he moved to Rome where he studied cinema decoration art and was granted San Vito Romano International Award in photography in Italy. He obtained PhD form the Experimental Institute for Cinema Decoration in 1958.
Back home a year later, he set out his teaching career in the faculty of Fine Arts and embarked on metal sculpture work. He won the first Biennale Alexandria award for his objet d'art, Revolution. He took part in the fifth Biennale in S?o Paulo and was awarded the International Medal of Honor, Mencao Hpnrosa, for his statue, the Fish.
Abdel Karim represented Egypt in Guggenheim competition where his oil picture ' the Cocks Struggle' won the award. He also participated in Venice Biennale.
He laid the foundations of the Interior Engineering department in the faculty of Fine Arts and developed necessary student curricula. He, also, founded the Fine Art Museum at the faculty. He played a major part in establishing and teaching in the decoration departments in both Cinema and Theater Institutes.
He designed the decoration of many public building such as the People's Assembly, Television and Police Academy buildings, hotels such as M?venpick Heliopolis and Cairo Sheraton and banks such as Alexandria Bank, Kuwait International Bank and the Euro-Arab Bank in Brussels.
Cooperating with Kamal Malakh, he founded the Luxor Museum for Antiquities. He participated in a good many number of international exhibitions in Cairo and Damascus. He participated in the seventh Biennale in S?o Paulo (Brazil) and won the international award of honor 'Honuosa Mencao' for his statue 'Beast's Scream'.
He won the Order for Science and Arts, first class, in 1963 and in the same year was delegated to New York to organize the Egyptian suite in New York International exhibition.
In 1964, Abdel Karim was granted the State's Encouragement Prize in ornamental sculpture and photography and took part in the Egyptian suite in Montreal. In 1967, he participated in Biennale Venice and won the Republic's Order, third class. In 1968, he participated in the first Triennale in India, then the Indian government bought his statue Kaboria 'Crab' for the Modern Art Museum in New Delhi. Indeed, Abdel Karim was one of the Egypt's celebrities in the world of art in general and sculpture in particular.
He chaired a department in the faculty of Fine Arts in 1979-1980, then was nominated as the dean of the same faculty in 1982. He took over he presidency of Helwan University in 1984 and was awarded the Medal of Distinction, first class, in 1985. He retired in 1986, but continued his teaching career in the Faculty of Fine Arts. He gained the State's Award of Appreciation in arts. He died on November 20, 1988.
Orders and Medals • Order for Science and Arts, first class, in 1963 • State's Encouragement Prize in ornamental sculpture and photography, in 1964 • Republic's Order, third class, in 1967 • Medal of Distinction, first class, in 1985 • State's Award of Appreciation in arts, in 1986