Prof Joseph Paul Cassar is a practising artist, art historian, art critic, curator and educator. He was a decisively inspiring academic spearheading the formation of a generation of Maltese scholars, educators and professionals in the field before moving to University of Maryland University College where he is currently Professor of Art. He is also engaged in designing dynamic online art courses for the New York Times Knowledge Network. Professor Cassar is also one of the museum?s internationally acclaimed consultants and advisors.
Mainly covering the middle decades of the 20th century and dealing with seminal figures in modern art as developed through the islands of Malta, Cassar’s material is extraordinary and impressive. What he has mustered opens up political, religious and social dimensions of a rapidly changing 20th century Maltese diaspora and crucially provides insights into the global cultural dimension that was 20th century modern art.
Malta evolved a similarly global maturity. From being a protected member of the British Empire, as Queen Victoria entered her final Sovereign year, the islands became an independent country and full member of the European Union of Nations, as a new Millenium offered re-defined global tensions and hopes.
In these volumes modern Maltese artists come alive. We view their work, supporting documents, photographic records and their personal reflections, disagreements, initiatives and aspirations. Just as Cassar makes them come alive he allows us also to come alive. He does not blind us with jargon or suffocate us with indigestible material, but leads us carefully and clearly on an adventure.