Osman Waqialla


Sudanese calligrapher of international repute He had his first solo exhibition in Khartoum in 1952, and in 1954, founded Studio Osman, which became a flourishing business specialising in graphic design and calligraphic commissions. He showed his works in a variety of exhibitions outside Sudan such as first one in London, in 1969. Following Sudanese independence in 1956, his first major commissions included Arabic calligraphy on Sudan's first banknotes. Between 1969 and 1979 he was consultant to Thomas de la Rue on their Middle Eastern banknotes. In 1976, he designed the logo for Britain's festival of Islam. An important commission was Osman's calligraphy on a tomb dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in Madinah. In 1995, Osman was in the London's Barbican's Sign, Traces and Calligraphy show, in 1999, in the British Museum's touring exhibition Writing Arabic, and in 2006 in the British Museum's Word into Art. Examples of his works are in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, the British Museum, and numerous private collections. But the largest body of work is in Sudan. Born in Rufa'a, northern Sudan, Osman Waqialla died of malaria.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan

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