Going strong, thirty years on

Cornucopia's three decades of delight

By Monica Fritz | January 8, 2022

In celebration of Cornucopia's 30th anniversary I would like to pull out a selection of my favourite spreads. Celebrating 30 years of Cornucopia also means celebrating 30 years of collaboration with our creative director, Clive Crook. Here are some examples of his many memorable pages. 

Above is the Yeşil Mosque with its 'Turkish triangles', a hallmark of 15th-century Ottoman mosque architecture. It is taken from The Big Issue on Bursa, No 38, 2007. The photograph is by Jürgen Frank, who was also responsible for Cornucopia's Istanbul for Connoisseurs issue, No 32, now one of Cornucopia's most collectible issues, fortunately availble here for free to subscribers.

This stunning shot is of three men rowing a river ferry is by Cafer Turkmen from the article 'Beyond the Euphrates', by Elizabeth Meath Baker. Cornucopia dedicated 30 pages to this expedition to the southeast undertaken in 1952 with the Kosswigs long before tourism began in Turkey. In Issue 30, 2003, 'travelling by train, truck, Jeep and mule, Turkmen discovered a place of dramatic beauty and a way of life barely changed for thousands of years.' Cafer Türkmen (1920–2007) was an extraordinary person with a fantastic eye. He taught at Istanbul's Fine Arts Academy and was the inspiration of many Istanbul photographers, among them Zafer Baran and Cornucopia's publisher, Berrin Torolsan.

Another pair of Cafer Türkmen's images beautifully juxtaposed by Clive Crook. 

'The artist of A Lady Drinking Coffee (right, now in the Pera Museum) is unknown, but the source of this Orientalist icon, a version of which was owned by Madame de Pompadour, would have been instantly familiar to 18th-century French society. It was a widely published as an engraving by the Flemish Jean Baptiste G Vanmour, one of the few artists to have witnessed life at the Ottoman court at first hand.' Issue 33, 2005.

Carla Grissmann's story, as told to Maureen Freely, is of her travels in Anatolia and her extraordinarily insightful book, Dinner of Herbs, happily now published by Eland Books. 'Carla places herself in the background of almost every story she tells. At times she is no more than a pair of eyes.' Issue 24, 2001. 

'One Persian account claims that on the fall of his capital, Nineveh, he set fire to himself, his concubines and his palace – a scene reimagined in Delacroix’s florid ‘Death of Sardanapalus’, now in the Louvre. The painting was the scandal of the 1827–28 Salon.' Clive's spread launches Rose Sheperd and Susana Raby's account of the memorable 2018 British Museum exhibition I am Ashurbanipal, King of the World, King of Assyria in Issue 58.

In the same 2018 issue, Clive produced a collage of photographs I took to illustrate Andrew Finkel's article on the reopening of the (now licensed) Pandeli above the Egyptian Spice Market.

Berrin Torolsan's mastery of light is shown in her marvelous food still lifes in each issue. This photo is slightly untypical, taken from further away and Clive used the diagonal composition to advantage in this double spread. Issue 51 in 2014.

This is another example of both graphics and photography: intentional minimalism resulting in pure elegance. Photo by Berrin Torolsan Issue 62, 2021. 'When Evliya (Çelebi) visited his uncle Melek Ahmed Pasha, vali (governor) of the eastern Anatolian province of Van, the book-loving Emir of Bitlis, Abdhal Khan, laid on a sumptuous feast for the two of them, which ended with no fewer than 50 such hoşafs, served in crystal bowls, with precious spoons set with gems. No other dish is mentioned.' 

And finally a sneak shot of a scene that will reappear in a forthcoming Cornucoopia book by Christopher Trillo. 'In August 1981, a writer, a painter, a geographer and four donkeys set out on a 600-kilometre journey from the Sea of Marmara to the Mediterranean.' The identity of the man iin the cloth cap remains a mystery. Issue 62, 2021. Watch this space...

Current Events