Rewarding reads: March and April 2017

A revealing relief, must-try Turkish dishes and the perfect day in Istanbul

By Emma Harper | April 26, 2017


In this blog series, we highlight some of our favourite Turkey-related articles and news titbits that we’ve read over the past month (or two, in this case). A relief uncovered by chance in eastern Anatolia has led archaeologists to revise the history of Harput, reports Hurriyet Daily News. Subsequent examinations...

John Freely, 1926–2017

By Cornucopia | April 20, 2017


Very sad news. The great John Freely passed away early yesterday morning. We have lost a cherished friend of the Bosphorus, author of more than 50 books, with at least 50 more ready to roll, and one of Irish nature’s great raconteurs. John was the incomparable bard of old Stamboul....
Posted in Obituaries

Rich pickings: treasures from a courtly Bohemian castle and the cotton baron palaces of Alexandria

Highlights of London’s Spring 2017 Islamic Sales… including the lot that broke the record for an Ottoman textile at auction

By John Scott | April 20, 2017


The spring Islamic sales are being held in Bond Street and elsewhere in London this week. These graphic, almost sensuous silk velvets and brocades, rediscovered by the beau monde in the early 1900s, are tipped to break records at Sotheby’s on April 26 and are just some of the exceptional...
Posted in Islamic Art, Orientalism, Textiles

Weekend gallery guide: entrancing videos

Istanbul this weekend (April 22–23)

By Emma Harper | April 20, 2017


I'm embarassed to admit that I often find video installations tiresome. Call it impatience or ineptitude, but I rarely have it in me to sit and digest moving images in an exhibition setting. So I was suprised to find myself totally absorbed in two video works currently on display in...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Music and Performing Arts

Where Felt meets silk

Felt’s Shyrdak rugs are the inspiration behind a new Hermès scarf

By Emma Harper | April 11, 2017


Traditional Shyrdak rugs made by nomads in Kyrgyzstan – tangible elements of a resilient culture – have turned into the stuff of high fashion.  ‘Appaloosa des Steppes’, designed by the artist Alice Shirley for the Hermès S/S17 silk scarf collection, draws on the geometric motifs and vivid colours of Felt’s...
Posted in Shopping, Textiles

From Istanbul to Sharjah and back again

The cities’ artistic ties are on display at the 13th Sharjah Biennial

By Emma Harper | April 4, 2017


Istanbul is making quite the splash at the 13th Sharjah Biennial, which opened on March 10 and will run until June 12. Out of the four artists awarded the 2017 Sharjah Biennial Prize, two – İnci Eviner and Walid Siti – are represented by Istanbul-based galleries (Galeri Nev Istanbul and...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Film, Music and Performing Arts, Talks and Lectures

Periot piece…

By Jason Goodwin | March 26, 2017


There’s an app on my daughter’s phone which distorts faces, pulls them round, to give people Habsburg chins or googly eyes or enormous teeth, writes Jason Goodwin (portrait by Monica Fritz). It’s amusing enough, but it isn’t really very illuminating. It merely makes monsters of us all, unlike Yusuf Bey’s...
Posted in Books, Exhibitions

In memory of David French, intrepid explorer of Anatolia’s Roman roads

By David Barchard | March 25, 2017


David French, the former director of the British Institution at Ankara, who died on Friday (pictured right), was a leading figure in British archaeological research in Turkey for six decades. For just over a quarter of a century, he was Ankara Director of the Institute, then an exclusively archaeological body....
Posted in Archaeology, Obituaries

Gender-bending bards

The women changing Turkey’s music scene

By Ezgi Üstündağ | March 24, 2017


Few Turkish words conjure up a scene as swiftly and uniformly as ozan. The noun is seemingly inseparable from the image of an elderly minstrel, bağlama in hand, singing of his travels before an audience of Anatolian villagers. Significant, too, is that this widespread understanding of the ozan, the lone...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz, Protest Music

Rewarding reads: February 2017

Celebrities in Cappadocia, prefab chalets and poorly puppies

By Emma Harper | March 18, 2017


In this blog series, we highlight some of our favourite Turkey-related articles and news titbits that we’ve read over the past month. ‘I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m a big fan of Martha Stewart’, writes Robert Ousterhout in a delightful post for the Penn History of Art...
Posted in Architecture, Books, History, Literature, Music and Performing Arts, News

The smiling Orientalist

An Anglo-Turkish moment: JF Lewis’s portrait (almost certainly) of the great Egyptologist Sir John Gardner Wilkinson

By John Scott | March 17, 2017


This witty portrait by the Orientalist painter John Frederick Lewis can be found this weekend at BADA, the British Antique Dealers’ Association’s annual fair in Chelsea (March 15–21). In Guy Peppiatt Fine Art’s catalogue notes, the art historian and JF Lewis-expert Briony Llewellyn describes the sitter in Turkish costume as...

Looking back from London

The Book Fair returns to the classics

By Roger Williams | March 14, 2017


The London Book Fair opened today with Poland as the ‘Market Focus’ country, and trade looked brisk. The behemoth publishing houses occupied centre stage with vast stands and clients checking in for their appointment. Better to wander around the edge of Olympia’s Exhibition Halls to find publishers less susceptible to...
Posted in Books, News, Shopping

Istanbul galleries sweep into Dubai

The 11th edition of Art Dubai opens on March 15

By Emma Harper | March 9, 2017


Three Istanbul galleries – Galerist, Galeri Zilberman and Sanatorium – will participate in the 11th edition of Art Dubai, an international art fair highlighting works from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Under the leadership of its new director, Myrna Ayad, the fair is presenting its strongest programme to...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Modern Art, News

Sounding off

Cevdet Erek prepares his site-specific sound installation for the 57th Venice Biennale

By Emma Harper | March 2, 2017


Even though Istanbul is one of the worst cities in the world for noise pollution, the sounds of the city are as much of a joy as they are a nuisance – they evoke a sense of place. Istanbul would not be Istanbul without the long, low horns of container...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, News

Rewarding reads: January 2017

Magical snow, sweet-and-sour pomegranate molasses and Turkish fairy tales

By Emma Harper | February 22, 2017


In this blog series, we highlight some of our favourite Turkey-related articles and news titbits that weve read over the past month. ‘Snow in Istanbul always feels magical,’ writes Tim Arango in The New York Times. He documents how last month’s blizzard, the heaviest snowfall in Istanbul since 2009, came as...
Posted in Books, Culinary Arts, History, News, Orientalism, Travel

Demolition by night

The historic Karaköy Passenger Terminal is the latest victim of the Galataport project

By Emma Harper | February 17, 2017


The photos and footage shared on Thursday night by Facebook user Togan Tong were grainy but unmistakable: the Karaköy Yolcu Salonu (Passenger Terminal), an important work of Turkish architecture from the early Republican era, was being torn down. The online newspaper Diken reports that the sea-facing side of the terminal...
Posted in Architecture, News

Weekend gallery guide: mirror images, depopulated desert and sculpted velvet

Istanbul this weekend (February 18–19)

By Emma Harper | February 16, 2017


This weekend we reflect on three spectacular solo shows. All are located in and around Beyoğlu (two in the same building – Mısır Apartment, on İstiklâl Caddesi). An Astronomical Determination of the Distance Between Two Cities, Heba Y Amin's second solo show at Galeri Zilberman, ends on Saturday, and Mirror,...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions

Weekend gallery guide: water worries and flight paths

Istanbul this weekend (February 11–12)

By Emma Harper | February 9, 2017


With its tall circular tower and redbrick façade, the palatial Perili Köşk in Rumelihisarı is a beacon on the Bosphorus. Its interior is equally eye-catching. Home to the corporate headquarters of Borusan Holding, the building doubles as a contemporary art gallery at the weekend. Temporary exhibitions occupy two gallery spaces,...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Museums, Photography

The restless sightseer: a winter’s day in Kayseri

By Francis Russell | February 3, 2017


Kayseri has changed dramatically in the last quarter century. Seljuk tombs that used to seem almost in the country are now dominated by modern buildings and the great monuments round the much restored citadel are overlooked by towering blocks, including the Hilton and Radisson hotels. It was to the latter...

Weekend gallery guide: green thumbs, hazy memories and profound portraits

Istanbul this weekend (February 4–5)

By Emma Harper | February 2, 2017


The large-scale, well-curated exhibitions currently on view in Istanbul – Feyhaman Duran: Between Two Worlds at the Sabancı Museum, The Characters of Yusuf Franko at ANAMED and Harbour at Istanbul Modern come to mind – are full-day events. But sometimes you want your art in more manageable portions. So this...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions
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