George Groslier (French: [ʒɔʁʒ ˈgʁo.lje] (zhorzh gro-lyay) (February 4, 1887, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – June 18, 1945, in Phnom Penh) was a French polymath who – through his work as a painter, writer, historian, archaeologist, ethnologist, architect, photographer and curator – studied, described, popularized and worked to preserve the arts, culture and history of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia. Born in Phnom Penh to a French civil servant – he was the first French child ever born in Cambodia – Groslier was taken by his mother to France at the age of two and grew up in Marseilles. Aspiring to become a painter, he tried but failed to win the prestigious Prix de Rome. Shortly afterwards, he returned to Cambodia, on a mission from the Ministry of Education. There he met and befriended a number o

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dbo:abstract
  • George Groslier (né et mort à Phnom Penh (4 février 1887 - 18 juin 1945) est un artiste peintre, scientifique, archéologue, ethnologue et photographe. Il laisse une œuvre écrite dense et variée composée de nombreux ouvrages sur l'archéologie et l'art du pays khmer. À partir de 1926, il ajoute à cette œuvre une production littéraire centrée sur la thématique de la rencontre de l’homme occidental avec les peuples, civilisations et cultures de l'Asie du Sud-Est. Il est le père de Bernard-Philippe Groslier, archéologue dans la lignée de Henri Parmentier et Henri Marchal à qui il succèdera en tant Directeur des Arts et conservateur au musée national du Cambodge et conservateur du site d'Angkor. (fr)
  • George Groslier (* 4. Februar 1887 in Phnom Penh, Kambodscha; † 18. Juni 1945 in Kambodscha) war ein französischer Maler, Museumsleiter, Archäologe und Kunsthistoriker für die Kunst Südostasiens, besonders in Kambodscha. (de)
  • George Groslier (French: [ʒɔʁʒ ˈgʁo.lje] (zhorzh gro-lyay) (February 4, 1887, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – June 18, 1945, in Phnom Penh) was a French polymath who – through his work as a painter, writer, historian, archaeologist, ethnologist, architect, photographer and curator – studied, described, popularized and worked to preserve the arts, culture and history of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia. Born in Phnom Penh to a French civil servant – he was the first French child ever born in Cambodia – Groslier was taken by his mother to France at the age of two and grew up in Marseilles. Aspiring to become a painter, he tried but failed to win the prestigious Prix de Rome. Shortly afterwards, he returned to Cambodia, on a mission from the Ministry of Education. There he met and befriended a number of French scholars of traditional Cambodian culture. Under their influence, he wrote and published, in France in 1913, his initial book on this subject: Danseuses Cambodgiennes – Anciennes et Modernes (Cambodian Dancers – Ancient and Modern). It was the very first scholarly work ever published in any language on Cambodian dance. He then returned to Cambodia, traveling the length and breadth of the country to examine its ancient monuments and architecture. From this experience came his book A l'ombre d 'Angkor; notes et impressions sur les temples inconnus de l'ancien Cambodge (In the Shadow of Angkor: Notes and Impressions on the Unknown Temples of Ancient Cambodia). In June 1914, Groslier enlisted in the French army and was employed as a balloonist in the early part of World War I. It was during this time that he met and married sportswoman Suzanne Cecile Poujade; they eventually had three children. He was ultimately reassigned to French Indochina because of his knowledge of the Khmer language. Upon his arrival in Phnom Penh in May 1917, he was charged with a new mission: to found a new Cambodian art museum and organize a school of Cambodian arts. From 1917 to his retirement in 1942, Groslier changed the focus of his work from that of merely describing Cambodian culture for a European audience to what he called a "rescue mission" to save the indigenous national art forms of Cambodia from destruction. His vision for the museum was to build collections from the full range of Cambodia’s traditional works of art. At the art school, Groslier did not try to make the native culture adapt to that of the colonizing power; on the contrary, he insisted that the school be run by Cambodians for Cambodians and that no European influence be allowed. He was also intolerant of any attempts by Europeans to loot or damage native art. In 1923, the 22-year-old writer André Malraux, later to become world-famous, removed some bas-relief statues from a 10th Century temple, Banteay Srei, with the intention of selling them to an art museum. Although Malraux claimed that he was acting within the law, Groslier immediately had him arrested, scarring the former's reputation in Indochina. Groslier would later contemptuously refer to Malraux as "le petit voleur" ("the little thief"). Between 1920 and 1939, Groslier's family frequently traveled between France and Cambodia so that the three children could attend schools in France. In 1939, however, events leading up to the Second World War made such travel increasingly dangerous, and Suzanne was forced to remain in France with their two sons, while Nicole, their daughter, stayed with her father in Cambodia. When the Japanese military occupied Cambodia, because French colonies were then administered by the pro-Axis Vichy regime, violence was initially avoided. But in March 1945, as the Allies made further advances in Asia, the Japanese relieved French officials of their authority, rounded up all foreign nationals, and placed them under guard in concentration camps. Because of his known enthusiasm for shortwave radio, Groslier was suspected by the Japanese of being part of the anti-Japanese resistance. On June 18, 1945, in Phnom Penh, while imprisoned by the Kempeitai, Groslier died under torture. He was later officially recognized as Mort pour la France ("Died in the service of France"). All Groslier's major work was inspired by his profound love and respect for the Cambodian people and their culture. Referring to his numerous talents, literary scholar Henri Copin has written: Through these disciplines of learning and art he roamed majestically, like that familiar Asiatic figure the elephant, all while exploring the past and absorbing the present of the country that witnessed his birth and, ultimately, his death. Drawing from this matchless wellspring of riches, he was able to convey, in writings both knowledgeable and sensitive, the ties and emotions that bound him to the land of the Khmer and its singular culture. In addition to his extensive body of scholarly writings on the art, archaeology and history of the Khmer people of Cambodia, Groslier's books include detailed travelogues as well as works of fiction – such as the novel Retour à l'Argile (Return to Clay (1928)), which won Le prix de littérature colonial (Grand Prize of Colonial Literature) in 1929 – describing his impressions of, and interactions with, Cambodians. Both institutions he founded, the National Museum of Cambodia and the Royal University of Fine Arts, are still in operation today. (en)
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  • 1887-02-04 (xsd:date)
  • 1887-2-4
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dbo:deathDate
  • 1945-06-18 (xsd:date)
  • 1945-6-18
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  • 50481471 (xsd:integer)
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  • 738662335 (xsd:integer)
dbp:alt
  • Portrait of a middle-aged man seated at a desk holding a sculpture
dbp:caption
  • George Groslier in his office, 1926
dbp:children
  • --06-15
dbp:language
  • French
dbp:nationality
  • French
dbp:spouse
  • Suzanne Poujade, 1893–1979
dbp:yearsActive
  • 1910 (xsd:integer)
dc:subject
dct:description
  • French writer, art historian and archaeologist (en)
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  • George Groslier (né et mort à Phnom Penh (4 février 1887 - 18 juin 1945) est un artiste peintre, scientifique, archéologue, ethnologue et photographe. Il laisse une œuvre écrite dense et variée composée de nombreux ouvrages sur l'archéologie et l'art du pays khmer. À partir de 1926, il ajoute à cette œuvre une production littéraire centrée sur la thématique de la rencontre de l’homme occidental avec les peuples, civilisations et cultures de l'Asie du Sud-Est. Il est le père de Bernard-Philippe Groslier, archéologue dans la lignée de Henri Parmentier et Henri Marchal à qui il succèdera en tant Directeur des Arts et conservateur au musée national du Cambodge et conservateur du site d'Angkor. (fr)
  • George Groslier (* 4. Februar 1887 in Phnom Penh, Kambodscha; † 18. Juni 1945 in Kambodscha) war ein französischer Maler, Museumsleiter, Archäologe und Kunsthistoriker für die Kunst Südostasiens, besonders in Kambodscha. (de)
  • George Groslier (French: [ʒɔʁʒ ˈgʁo.lje] (zhorzh gro-lyay) (February 4, 1887, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – June 18, 1945, in Phnom Penh) was a French polymath who – through his work as a painter, writer, historian, archaeologist, ethnologist, architect, photographer and curator – studied, described, popularized and worked to preserve the arts, culture and history of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia. Born in Phnom Penh to a French civil servant – he was the first French child ever born in Cambodia – Groslier was taken by his mother to France at the age of two and grew up in Marseilles. Aspiring to become a painter, he tried but failed to win the prestigious Prix de Rome. Shortly afterwards, he returned to Cambodia, on a mission from the Ministry of Education. There he met and befriended a number o (en)
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  • George Groslier (de)
  • George Groslier (fr)
  • George Groslier (en)
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