Etel Adnan (Lebanese, b.1925) is a writer, painter, and designer who was born and raised in Beirut and educated in French-speaking schools. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris, and, in the mid-1950s, she went to the United States to study philosophy at U.C. Berkeley and Harvard. From 1958 to 1972, she taught philosophy at Dominican College in San Rafael, CA.
In 1972, she moved back to Beirut, where she remained until 1976, working as an editor for several daily newspapers. In 1977, her novel Sitt Marie-Rose was published in Paris. The novel was enormously influential, and has since been translated into more than 10 languages. In the late 1970s, Adnan wrote texts for two documentaries about the civil war in Lebanon, both of which were shown throughout Europe and in Japan.
Adnan eventually relocated to Sausalito, CA, where she currently lives when she is not in Paris. She has works in private collections, as well as in the Royal Jordanian Museum, the Tunis Modern Art Museum, the Sursock Museum in Beirut, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the British Museum in London, the World Bank Collection in Washington D.C., and the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. Her tapestries can be found in public spaces and private collections around the world. Slides of her tapestries are in the permanent files of the Contemporary Crafts Museums in New York and Los Angeles. In addition, Adnan was a featured artist at the 2014 Whitney Biennial.