Harnesses the transformative power of art to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of world cities to foster beauty, understanding and peace.


A critical part of our mission is to foster global peace. The curriculum at EFIAF’s Peace Education uses the visual arts and an interdisciplinary approach to build global understanding. It teaches leadership and cultural diplomacy and provides concepts, language and experience to counter all forms of intolerance and develop a capacity for conflict resolution, reconciliation, and community building.


Cities of Peace Auschwitz Initiative 2019-20:
“Honoring the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz”
Inaugurating the Cities of Peace Commemorative Series
Visual Arts, Education and Cultural Diplomacy

Cities of Peace in Pristina 2018!
See Ellen Frank interviewed about the project here!
Cities of Peace®/Qytetet e Paqes/Gradovi Mira


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Southampton Jewish Center: Turnings: Sparking Light from Darkness
Special Guest Speaker:  Ellen Frank, Founder & Artistic Director for Cities of Peace Illuminated

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Cities of Peace Illuminated Auschwitz Initiative 2019-2020:
Inaugurating the Cities of Peace Illuminated Commemorative Series – Painting begins


Ellen Frank, Baghdad: City of Peace, Truly (Iraq) from Cities of Peace
22-karat gold leaf, 231⁄2-karat red gold, palladium leaf, mica, egg tempera on Belgian linen (69 x 104 in.) 2005

The layers of Baghdad: City of Peace, Truly chase more than 5,000 years of splendid, then destroyed grandeur. From the cuneiform creation myth found in Iraq on a clay tablet dating to 3000 B.C. to the aerial photograph of Baghdad (1925), the painting honors Baghdad as emerging from the Cradle of Civilization, Baghdad the Round City (762 AD), and Baghdad the site of Islamic architectural achievement.

Ellen Frank, Hiroshima: Winter Bloom (Japan) from Cities of Peace
22-karat moon gold, 12-karat white gold, egg tempera on Belgian linen (69 x 104 in.) 2005

In Hiroshima: Winter Bloom, the symbolic winter-blooming plum blossom cascades across the once secret “Pre-Attack Mosaic” photograph of Hiroshima taken by U.S. military aerial reconnaissance in April 1945. Grace and hope ride the wind as it sweeps the plum blossom across our memories.

Ellen Frank, Jerusalem: A Painting Toward Peace (Israel) from Cities of Peace
22-karat gold leaf and egg tempera on Belgian linen. (69" X 104") 2004

Peopled with hundreds of tiny figures aspiring to joyous, free lives, a view of Jerusalem−its Golden Gate, synagogues, mosques, churches and minarets−shimmers across the vista. The painting’s gold-leaf border celebrates peace: between flowers from historic Islam appears the traditional six-sided star common to Islamic art, a symbol that from the Middle Ages is known as The Star of David.

Ellen Frank, Lhasa: 10 Directions (Tibet) from Cities of Peace
22-karat gold leaf, egg tempera on Belgian linen (69 x 104 in.) 2005

Framed by two gold-leaf pillars inspired by columns at the Jokhang monastery, the painting uses mudras (sacred hand positions thought to be more powerful than the spoken word) as border patterns. The words of a sixth-century poet cascade to the Lhasa skyline, just as the Bon myth describes the first Tibetans climbing down rainbow stairs from the sky to mountaintops.

Ellen Frank, Monrovia: In Constellation (Liberia) from Cities of Peace
Palladium and moon gold, Aquarelle on Belgian linen. (69 x 104 in.) 2007

We honor the inspiring resilience of the Liberian people, hoping that Monrovia: In Constellation will herald a renewed harmony within the Liberian capital. A map (circa 1849) grounds the night’s stars, exactly as they shone on Liberian Independence Day, July 26, 1847 at 10:00 P.M.

Ellen Frank, Sarajevo: Here (Bosnia-Herzegovina) from Cities of Peace
22-karat gold leaf, palladium, moon, and copper leaf, egg tempera on Belgian linen. (69 x 104 in.) 2007

Sarajevo: Here celebrates the great cultural heritage of Sarajevo as pages of imagined illuminated manuscripts: within the painting’s gold-illuminated borders is tucked the red-tile-roofed city itself, with its mosques and minarets, its spires, symbols, and languages. In the wake of the largest intentional book burning and the longest military siege in modern history,Sarajevo: Here cherishes the people of Sarajevo, their spirit convivencia!, and their art, in its own small act of benefaction.

Yerevan: To Know Wisdom (Armenia)

Ellen Frank, Beijing: Heavenly Peace, on Earth! (China) from Cities of Peace
22-karat gold leaf, 231⁄2-karat red gold, 12 karat white gold, 22 karat moon gold, mica and bronze powder, egg tempera on Belgian linen. (104" X 69") 2005

Beijing: Heavenly Peace, on Earth! celebrates Beijing as a sacred city, marking the sacred proportions of its city plan, its star pattern, and geographic site. The painting honors Beijing in dance, in costume, and in cityscape. With a north-south axis, setting the Forbidden City in the painting’s center, the work proclaims that this complex and magnificent ancient and modern city is the place where the heavens touch the earth, conferring majesty and light.

Ellen Frank, Kabul: I Love Her (for knowledge and love both come from her dust) (Afghanistan) from Cities of Peace
22-karat gold leaf, moon gold, egg tempera on Belgian linen (104 x 69 in.) 2005

In this work, gold-leaf micrography (text shaped into images) from a seventeenth-century poem illuminates the city, inspired by a panoramic photograph taken between 1870 and 1882. Celebrating Kabul, the verses walk a main city road—not as an invading army but as a march of words of love. Symbols of what was cherished by Afghans, then banned—dance, music, books, kites—are woven into the painting as if a pattern from a tribal carpet, an art form that helped to make Afghanistan renowned worldwide.

Ellen Frank, New York: This is My City! (USA) from Cities of Peace
22-karat gold leaf, palladium leaf, egg tempera on Belgian linen (104 x 69 in.) 2005

Bridges! to the island city of New York! carry dreams and dreamers. With bottoms of buildings bordering the painting’s top, tops bordering the bottom, the skyline of New York turns us around and around. Celebrating the city as a beacon of liberty, the painting honors its residents in concept and content. In how many languages can we say “New York is my city”?

Pristina: The Flowering (Kosovo)

“The gold-illuminated paintings we create together emphasize understanding as prerequisite to peace and celebrate the best of the human spirit.”

~ Founder and Artistic Director Ellen Frank, PhD