1-20 of 22 results  for:

  • Twentieth-Century Art x
  • Collecting, Patronage, and Display of Art x
  • Islamic Art x
Clear all

Article

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 ...

Article

Marianne Barrucand

[‛Alawī; Filālī]

Islamic dynasty and rulers of Morocco since 1631. Like their predecessors the Sa‛dis, the ‛Alawis are sharīfs (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad), and both dynasties are sometimes classed together as the ‘Sharifs of Morocco’. From a base in the Tafilalt region of south-east Morocco, the ‛Alawi family was able to overcome the centrifugal forces exerted by the Berber tribes who had destroyed the Sa‛di state in the first half of the 17th century. To restore political authority and territorial integrity, Mawlay Isma‛il (reg 1672–1727) added a new black slave corps to the traditional tribal army. Although royal power was weak during the 19th century and the early 20th, when the French and Spanish established protectorates, the ‛Alawis’ power was fully restored after independence from the French in 1956.

‛Alawi building activities (see Islamic art, §II, 7(v)) were concentrated in the four cities that have served as their capitals: Fez and Marrakesh at various times from ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[‛Alī Wijdān; Wijdan]

(b Baghdad, Aug 29, 1939).

Jordanian painter and art patron. She studied history at Beirut University College (formerly Beirut College for Women), receiving a BA in 1961. In 1993 she took a PhD in Islamic Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. After serving in the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representing her country at United Nations meetings in Geneva and New York, Ali founded the Royal Society of Fine Arts in Jordan in 1979 and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in 1980 (see Jordan, Hashemite Kingdom of). In 1988 she organized in Amman the Third International Seminar on Islamic Art, entitled ‘Problems of Art Education in the Islamic World’, and in 1989 she organized the exhibition Contemporary Art from the Islamic World at the Barbican Centre, London. In 2001 she founded the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan, and has received numerous awards in recognition of her work in the arts....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Noel)

(b London, Dec 25, 1881; d Wendover, Bucks, Feb 28, 1968).

English civil servant and collector of Islamic and Chinese art. The eldest son of Sir Thomas Barlow, royal physician and president of the Royal College of Physicians, he was educated at Marlborough and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1906 he was appointed to a clerkship in the House of Commons, by 1933 he was principal private secretary to the Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, and from 1934 to 1948 he served at the Treasury. He began collecting Oriental ceramics in 1900 and started acquiring Islamic pottery five years later, amassing a comprehensive collection with a special emphasis on Ottoman and Iranian items within 20 years. He built up his collection of Chinese art in the early 1920s, when several British collectors led by George Eumorfopoulos acquired objects excavated in China. Barlow preferred early austere Chinese pottery with little polychrome decoration. During the 1920s and 1930s he also continued to acquire Islamic items, and some of his pieces were shown in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b New York, Feb 7, 1875; d Monaco, Jan 19, 1968).

British mining consultant and collector of American birth. He was educated at the Columbia School of Mines and at Princeton University; by the age of 28 he was the consulting engineer and assistant general manager of the Guggenheim Exploration Company. In 1913, two years after the death of his first wife, he settled in London and became established as a mining consultant. He married Edith Dunn and bought Baroda House in Kensington Palace Gardens. With one of his associates, Herbert Hoover, later President of the USA (1929–33), he reorganized the Kyshtin mine in the Urals. The Selection Trust Ltd, which he established in 1914 to develop and finance profitable mines throughout the world, made great headway after World War I, and he remained its chairman until 1960. He was naturalized as a British citizen in 1933. In his youth he began collecting a range of items, including Western manuscripts and Chinese snuff bottles, but his main passion was collecting Islamic manuscripts and paintings, early Bibles and rare books, Impressionist paintings, French and Russian gold snuffboxes, 18th-century watches, clocks, and stamps. His interest in the Islamic arts of the book, particularly manuscripts of the Koran, was stimulated by frequent visits to Cairo, where he wintered between the wars. Although he had no knowledge of Arabic, Persian, or Turkish, he was keen to give scholars access to his collection and loaned manuscripts to many exhibitions. In ...

Article

Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

(b Alexandria, 1873; d Athens, 1954).

Greek patron. A Greek cotton merchant, Benaki was born at a time when the memory of the War of Independence (1821–9) inspired strong feelings of nationalism in Greeks living abroad. Benaki assembled a collection of objects—art, crafts and souvenirs—that expresses the historical continuum of Greece and pride in the Greek cultural heritage. in 1926 he moved permanently to Athens where in 1930 he founded the Benaki Museum, inaugurated the following year when Benaki presented his collections, along with what had been the Benaki family home in Athens and substantial funds for its maintenance, to the Greek government. Benaki had supervised the transformation of the house into a museum, wanting to preserve the intimate atmosphere of a family home; he continued to work towards maintaining and enriching the museum until his death. The Benaki Museum’s collections include examples of the antique and Byzantine art for which Greece is traditionally best known, as well as icons from Cyprus, Muslim art representing the Ottoman Empire, souvenirs from the war of independence and examples of national costume from all over the country. The Islamic material—principally ceramics and textiles from Egypt and the Ottoman Empire along with gold jewellery—was spread over two rooms on the first floor and one on the second....

Article

Douglas Lewis

(b Paris, March 21, 1837; d Paris, Sept 29, 1914).

French connoisseur and collector. In 1862–4 he served as secretary to his uncle, who was working on the construction of the Suez Canal, and in Cairo made notable acquisitions of Islamic art, which he later donated to the Louvre, Paris. On 29 November 1872 he purchased from the painter Charles Timbal (1821–80) 155 important early Renaissance sculptures, reliefs, small bronzes and paintings, collected by Timbal over the previous 20 years in Florence. To this nucleus Dreyfus occasionally made additions, in particular of bronzes: two sculptures that his heirs gave to the Louvre, the marble bust of Diotisalvi Neroni (c. 1465) by Mino da Fiesole and the bronze group of St Jerome with the Lion (1490s) by Bartolomeo Bellano, epitomize the principal strengths of his collection. Dreyfus’s reputation, however, rests on his achievement as a connoisseur and collector of Renaissance medals and plaquettes. Although barely two dozen bronze reliefs, and only a dozen medals, had been included in the purchase from Timbal, Dreyfus left two incomparable collections: one of almost 700 medals (one of the richest ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Liverpool, April 18, 1863; d London, Dec 19, 1939).

English collector. The eldest son of a Greek merchant, Eumorfopoulos worked for the merchant firm of Ralli Brothers. He initially collected European porcelains and Japanese tea bowls but then turned to Chinese objects, which became his largest collection, emphasizing pottery and porcelains. His second interest was metalwork, and he formed a fine collection of Chinese bronzes; he was also interested in other media, such as jade. He chose items based on his aesthetic response rather than archaeological or rarity value, and he thus placed himself at the forefront of Western taste for Chinese art. From 1924 he also began to acquire Islamic art and formed a separate Chinese collection for the Benaki Museum, Athens, so that the museum eventually had nearly 800 examples of Chinese pottery and porcelain. Eumorfopoulos was elected the first president of the Oriental Ceramic Society in 1921 and retained this position until his death, his house becoming central to the activities of the society. In ...

Article

Article

Walter B. Denny

(b Godalming, Jan 1834; d London, Feb 19, 1919).

English collector. Godman was among the first Western private collectors of medieval Islamic ceramics. With energy, an uncanny eye and the courage to invest considerable sums, Godman collected some of the most important and beautiful examples known as well as several important inscribed and dated works. Godman’s rivals in the highly competitive and expensive market for Ottoman and Hispano-Moresque ceramics included George Salting and John Henderson (1797–1878). Godman’s interest in Islamic ceramics doubtless led him to commission Morgan, William De to make a fireplace in the ‘Persian’ style for Godman’s residence, South Lodge, at Horsham, W. Sussex. After his death, Godman’s daughters loaned generously to major exhibitions of Islamic art and continued their father’s tradition of hospitality to scholars. Many of these, notably Arthur Lane, used examples from the Godman collection to forge the fundamental scholarship on Islamic ceramics. On the death in 1982 of Miss C. E. Godman, the collection was transferred to the ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Andrew)

(b Cairo, Oct 28, 1892; d London, May 26, 1969).

Merchant banker and collector. He was the elder son of Sir Victor Harari Pasha, a leading member of the Anglo-Jewish community in Egypt, and was educated at Lausanne and Pembroke College, Cambridge. On returning to Egypt, he became a junior officer in the Palestine campaign of Edmund Allenby and then finance officer to Ronalds Storrs, the military governor of Jerusalem. In 1920 he served under Herbert Samuel as director of the Department of Commerce and Trade in the British Mandate, but returned to Egypt in 1925 to help in the family business. With the outbreak of World War II, he became economic adviser to GHQ Middle East, and then served under Peter Ritchie-Calder, the director of plans in the Department of Political Warfare in London. After the war, he stayed in London as managing director of the merchant bank S. Japhet & Co., and when it was taken over he joined the board of the Charterhouse group. From the 1920s he was interested in Islamic metalwork, becoming an authority on the subject and contributing a chapter to the ...

Article

(b Kayseri, Turkey, 1872; d 1962).

Archaeologist, collector and dealer of Armenian descent. He excavated in Iran at Sultanabad from 1903 and the medieval city of Rayy from c. 1907 and assembled an outstanding collection of Oriental art, especially Islamic and Persian. He exhibited Islamic ceramics in London in 1911 and works excavated under his supervision were shown in New York in 1914. Major sales of Islamic pieces from his collection, including lacquer doors and tile panels from Isfahan, books and paintings, carpets and ceramics, were held in the 1920s at the Anderson Gallery, New York. In 1929 he acquired at auction the Mughal album of calligraphy and painting that became known as the Kevorkian Album (now divided New York, Met., 55.121.10; Washington, DC, Freer; see also Indian sub-continent, §V, 4(i)(d)). His gifts to museums and universities included Assyrian reliefs to the Brooklyn Museum, New York. His desire to promote American interest in Middle Eastern art and archaeology was continued through the Hagop Kevorkian Fund....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Robert)

(b Stockholm, May 8, 1868; d Cairo, April 13, 1933).

Swedish diplomat, scholar, collector and dealer. In 1884 he became assistant at the ethnographical museum in Stockholm, and by 1890 he was assistant at the archaeological museum. He combined his interests in ethnography and archaeology on a visit to Siberia (1891–2), publishing his findings in L’Age du bronze au Musée de Minoussinsk. He then turned to Islamic art, travelling widely and collecting in Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Egypt and Turkey. He began to acquire Islamic book paintings at Bukhara in 1894 and in the following year sold 387 oriental manuscripts to the University Library at Uppsala. In the winter of 1896 he excavated at Fustat (Old Cairo), returning with several thousand ceramic fragments. In 1897 he exhibited his collection at Stockholm. About this time he formed the opinion that manuscripts had been the chief disseminators of ornamental motifs in the Islamic world. From 1903, when he was attached to the Swedish Embassy in Istanbul as dragoman, he acquired a number of precious manuscripts and albums, and he also probably formed in these years a collection of etchings of views of Istanbul, portraits of sultans and political pictures that went to Lund University. He published ...

Article

Walter B. Denny

(b Cleveland, OH, Sept 10, 1875; d Washington, DC, Dec 23, 1957).

American collector. An heir to the Bristol–Myers pharmaceutical fortune, Myers began collecting Oriental carpets while an undergraduate at Yale University, New Haven, CT. He began to collect seriously from 1909, and in 1925 he founded The Textile Museum, housed in the residence that John Russell Pope had designed for him in Washington, DC, and the adjacent structure. His collection then comprised 275 carpets, and he continued to enrich the museum until his death, when it included some 500 carpets and thousands of textiles. Avoiding in large part the acquisition of then fashionable and costly showpieces, Myers built a collection of historical and traditional textiles from Asia, Islamic North Africa and Spain, and Central and South America that is virtually without parallel in its richness, quality, and importance to scholars.

S. P. Collins: ‘George Hewitt Myers, 1875–1957’, Hali, 27 (1985), pp. 6–7 M. McWilliams: ‘One Man’s Romance with Fiber Created the Textile Museum’, ...

Article

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Félix Anne)

(b 1884; d Paris, Oct 2, 1967).

French diplomat and collector of art and historical documents. Educated at the Lycée Condorcet, the Sorbonne and the Ecole des Sciences Politiques, he began a diplomatic career in 1908 and soon formed a collection of European and Islamic art. He was also interested in history, particularly Franco-Turkish relations from the 16th century, and wrote on the subject. From 1922 to 1925 he served as secretary to the French ambassador at Istanbul and Prague and was chargé-d’affaires at Munich. In 1926 he attended the international archaeological congress in Syria and was delegate (1926–34) to the Commission des Détroits at Istanbul. In 1934 he was appointed plenipotentiary minister in Iran, from 1937 he directed the archives of the French foreign ministry, and in 1939 he was appointed plenipotentiary minister in Egypt. Among other activities, he was president of the Société Française de Reproduction de Manuscrits. His collection of Islamic paintings and calligraphy, which by the 1920s was one of the foremost in Europe, consisted largely of Persian work, including paintings from the dismembered great Mongol ...

Article

[Qājār; Kadjar]

Turkoman dynasty of rulers and patrons. They reigned in Iran from 1779 to 1924. After the fall of the Safavid family dynasty and the campaigns of Nadir Shah (d 1747), the Qajar tribe of Turkoman competed against the Zand dynasty for power in Iran. Under Agha Muhammad Khan (d 1797) the various branches of the Qajar tribe were united, and their authority expanded over the country. In 1785 Agha Muhammad took Tehran and adopted it as capital. In 1794 he captured the last Zand ruler Lutf ‛Ali (reg 1789–94) at Kirman, and the following year he was formally crowned in Tehran. With the country pacified, subsequent Qajar rulers in the 19th century, particularly Agha Muhammad’s nephew (1) Fath ‛Ali Shah and the latter’s great-grandson (2) Nasir al-Din, became important patrons of art and architecture at a time when Iran was increasingly exposed to European ideas. By the end of the 19th century, however, the country was deeply in foreign debt due to incessant warfare and royal extravagance. A demand for political liberalism arose, and in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Berlin, June 22, 1865; d Neubabelsberg, June 1945).

German archaeologist, art historian and collector. He travelled to the Middle East and met Carl Humann, who was excavating Pergamon and advised Sarre to study the monuments of medieval Anatolia. In 1895 he visited Phrygia, Lycaonia and Pisidia and in 1896 went on a longer journey in Asia Minor. His principal aim was to discover architectural monuments and archaeological sites; he always travelled with a trained architect and became a talented photographer. He also collected epigraphic material which he sent to such Arabists as Bernhard Moritz, Eugen Mittwoch and Max van Berchem. In the years 1897 to 1900 Sarre travelled to Iran. Objects from his collection were exhibited in Berlin (1899) and at the Exposition des arts musulmans (Paris, 1903). In 1905 he met Ernst Herzfeld, and in 1907–8 they travelled together from Istanbul via Aleppo and Baghdad to the Gulf to find an Islamic site suitable for excavation. Their choice, which Herzfeld later described as Sarre’s, fell upon ...

Article

Saudi  

[Āl Sa‛ūd]

Dynasty that has ruled most of the Arabian peninsula since 1746. The foundations of Saudi rule were laid when Muhammad ibn Sa‛ud (reg 1746–65) formed an alliance with the theologian Muhammad ibn ‛Abd al-Wahhab (d 1791), who wanted to purify Islam in Arabia. Under ‛Abd al-‛Aziz I (reg 1765–1803) Riyadh and most of the Najd region came under Saudi rule, and the Hijaz region, including Mecca and Medina, soon followed. Saudi expansion was countered when the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II (reg 1808–39) commissioned his viceroy in Egypt, Muhammad ‛Ali (reg 1805–48), to reconquer the Hijaz and Najd. After the withdrawal of Turco-Egyptian forces, Riyadh was recaptured by Turki (reg 1823–34) and became the new capital of a reduced ‘second’ Saudi state. After the death of Faysal I (reg 1834–65 with interruption), Saudi fortunes began to wane, and by 1891 the ‘second’ Saudi state had come to an end. ‛Abd al-‛Aziz II (...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Tehran, 1937).

Iranian sculptor, painter, art historian and collector. He studied sculpture at the College of Fine Arts at Tehran University, graduating in 1956, and then attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara (1956–7) and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan (1958–9), where he worked under Marino Marini. In 1960 he began to teach at the College of Decorative Arts in Tehran, and in 1961 he was invited to the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design as a visiting artist, where he taught sculpture until 1963. In 1964 he returned to Tehran to teach sculpture at the College of Fine Arts. Primarily a sculptor, he worked with a range of materials, including bronze, copper, brass, scrap metal and clay. In the 1960s he contributed to the art movement in Iran known as Saqqakhana, and he made sculptures that were reminiscent of religious shrines and objects. Pairs of figures and fantastic birds were also common subjects. Themes from classical Persian literature also influenced him. He frequently rendered the word ...