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Abbasid  

Robert Hillenbrand

[‛Abbasid]

Islamic dynasty that ruled from several capitals in Iraq between ad 749 and 1258. The Abbasids traced their descent from al-‛Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, and were thus able to claim a legitimacy that their predecessors had lacked (see Umayyad, §1). The Abbasids rose to power in north-east Iran by channelling disaffection with Umayyad rule, but they soon established their capitals in a more central location, founding Baghdad in 762. Although they initially encouraged the support of Shi‛ites, the Abbasids quickly distanced themselves from their erstwhile allies to become champions of orthodoxy. Upon accession, each caliph adopted an honorific title, somewhat like a regnal name, by which he was later known. For the first two centuries, the Abbasids’ power was pre-eminent, and their names were invoked from the Atlantic to western Central Asia. From the middle of the 10th century, however, real power was transferred to a succession of Persian and Turkish dynasts (...

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Jacqueline Colliss Harvey

(b Brighton, Nov 23, 1894; d London, Dec 24, 1969).

English collector. Educated privately, he was commissioned to the Rifle Brigade in 1914. He was invalided home in November 1916 and made a director in his family’s brewing firm. He began his book collection in 1929, at first with an interest in modern bindings. In 1931 he commissioned Sybil Pye and R. de Coverley and Sons to produce a binding to his own design for Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer. Consistently stressing the importance of appearance and condition, Abbey began buying antiquarian books in 1933 and manuscripts (of which he ultimately owned 143) in 1946, with advice from Sydney Cockerell. After World War II he had the largest private collection of his time, including 1914 18th- and 19th-century books of watercolour prints.

Auctions of his collection were held between 1965 and 1967 (buyers included Paul Mellon and the Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart) and, after his death, between 1970 and 1975...

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Turkish, 19th–20th century, male.

Born 29 May 1868, in Constantinople (now Istanbul); died 23 August 1944, in Paris.

Painter and collector. Portraits, genre scenes, landscapes.

Abdul-Medjid was the son of Sultan Abdülaziz, and later Crown Prince of the Ottoman Empire and Caliph. He was taught painting by Fausto Zonaro, an Italian artist who worked in the Ottoman court ...

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Çigdem Kafesçioglu and Walter B. Denny

In 

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A. Deirdre Robson

(b London, Dec 8, 1904; d New York, Nov 25, 1979).

American publisher and collector. He trained at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York before working in publishing. In 1950 he set up his own publishing company, Harry N. Abrams Inc., one of the first American companies to specialize in art books. In 1968 he founded Abbeville Books. His collecting, which began in the mid-1930s, went through three distinct phases: his first interest was in such contemporary American painters as Milton Avery and Raphael Soyer. He continued to purchase such works into the 1950s, but from the mid-1940s his collecting began to be dominated by works by major 20th-century artists; he acquired, among other works, Marc Chagall’s Clock (1948), Pablo Picasso’s Motherhood (1921) and Georges Rouault’s Miserere (1939).

Abrams’s most notable period as a collector was the 1960s, when he became known as a major collector of new American art. His interest in this area was fuelled by the ...

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Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Oakland, CA, 1893; d. Shiraz, Iran, 25 Jan. 1977).

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In 1930 Ackerman was stricken with polio but taught herself to walk again. They were instrumental in preparing the 1931 Persian Art Exhibition at Burlington House, London, and the Second International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, as well as the Third Congress in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1935 and the exhibition of Iranian art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940. She visited Iran for the first time in 1964, when the shah of Iran invited Pope to revive the Asia Institute; it was associated with Pahlavi University in Shiraz until ...

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John Ford

[Rudolf]

(b Stollberg, Saxony, April 20, 1764; d Finchley, London, March 30, 1834).

English publisher and patron of German birth. He trained as a carriage designer in Paris and moved to England between 1783 and 1786. He established his own business as a carriage maker, undertaking major commissions in London and Dublin. In 1804 he designed Pius VII’s carriage for the coronation of Napoleon and in 1805 the funeral carriage of Horatio, Viscount Nelson. By 1800 Ackermann had built up a unique business at 101 The Strand, London, known as ‘The Repository of Arts’. This encompassed a drawing school with 80 pupils, the sale and loan of Old Master paintings and watercolour drawings, the publication of decorative prints and illustrated books and the manufacture of watercolour paints including a number of new chemical pigments.

In the early 19th century, Ackermann was an important and regular patron of English watercolour painters, employing William Henry Pyne, Augustus Charles Pugin, Thomas Heaphy, Frederick Mackenzie (1787–1854...