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Phnom Penh

French casting of a Khmer dancer based on works by the School of Cambodian Arts (possibly from the studio of Alfred Finot, 1876-1947).

Khmer Crafts-George Groslier and the School of Cambodian Arts-Part 2

In early 20th century Cambodia, George Groslier established the School of Cambodian Arts, teaching students the crafts of modelling, wood-carving, sculpture, bronze-casting, furniture-making, the art of the gold­smith or silversmith, and (for girls) weaving. In 1936, English author Miss H. W. Ponder published “Cambodian Glory,” including a detailed chapter about this unique school titled “The Tree of Knowledge.” This is the second of a four-part series of articles excerpted from her work.

George Groslier in his home study in Phnom Penh on December 3, 1922.

George Groslier and the School of Cambodian Arts-Part 1

In 1936, English author Miss H. W. Ponder published Cambodian Glory, including a detailed chapter about George Groslier and the School of Cambodian Arts titled “The Tree of Knowledge.” Excerpts from her article are featured on as a four part series detailing Groslier’s work reviving the classic crafts of the Khmer people by founding the School of Cambodian Arts. This is the first article in a four part series.

Women's Wiles, with a cover painting by George Groslier, presents early 20th century Cambodian folktales in English for the first time.

Fascinating Fantastic and Funny Cambodian Folktales in English and French

Cambodian imagination knows no bounds! This new collection of Cambodian folktales in English and French takes readers through imaginative twists and turns to meet simple villagers living deep in the jungle, kings and princesses in fabulous palaces, angels and gods of the Hindu heavens…you’ll even confront (and outwit) fierce pirates hiding in island lairs! Originally collected by French writer G. H. Monod in the early 20th century, Cambodian scholar Solang Uk adds new perspectives and cultural information to this new edition to make these timeless tales even more entertaining. The rare cover painting of Cambodian village life was done by artist George Groslier in 1912.

The Sacred Dancers of Angkor perform their first international dance ritual for thousands of worshipper gathered at Wat Phou temple in Laos. February 2012.

UNESCO Announces Sacred Dancers of Angkor US Tour 2013

Hailed by H.M. King Sihamoni of Cambodia as a “highly talented and spiritual” dance troupe, 30 extraordinary young artists are embarking on the Sacred Dancers of Angkor US Tour to perform rare classical, folk and sacred Khmer dance and music. Their mission is to bridge the Cambodian-Americans to their Motherland during the Holy Month of Remembrance of the Ancestors (Pchum Ben which starts on September 20) and to raise awareness about the Cambodian dance. The tour is endorsed and supported by King Norodom Sihamoni, the Cambodian Government and the UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh and is placed under the Auspices of Princess Norodom Boppha Devi.

Nou Nam, left, had been the favorite dancer of both King Norodom and King Sisowath. In her 50s in 1927, she agreed to help Georges Groslier archive Khmer classical dance movements in photographic form. Ith, right, would only pose for the camera when her rival in the Royal Ballet was absent, Georges Groslier wrote in 1928. (National Museum Collection)

Royal Cambodian Dancers of Sisowath in 1927 Photos by George Groslier

“Cambodian royal dances, the ad­mirable artistic tradition and all the indigenous past they represent are seriously threatened due to the very evolution of Cambodia and Western progress.” These prophetic words could have been written at any time, but they were actually penned in 1928 by George Groslier, founder and director of the National Museum in Phnom Penh. See dozens of these rare photos, recently revealed by the National Museum of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea

Angkor Wat Devata at Wat Athvea

Who were the six sisters of the Angkor Wat devata at Wat Athvea? South of Siem Reap the small temple enshrines six 12th century goddesses.