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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

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

American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 June 1931, in Eatonton (Georgia).

Painter, draughtsman (including ink), collage artist, print artist, sculptor, collector, art historian. Religious subjects, figures, portraits, figure compositions, scenes with figures, landscapes. Designs for stained glass.

David C. Driskell earned a BFA at Howard University in ...

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

Petra Schniewind-Michel

(b Lübeck, Dec 24, 1707; d Alt-Döbern [Niederlausitz], nr Dresden, Jan 23, 1791).

German art scholar and collector. At school in Lübeck he became acquainted with the ideas of Leibniz and Christian Wolff; from 1724 he studied law and literature in Leipzig. There he developed an interest in the Enlightenment thinking of Johann Christoph Gottsched and in art, particularly the many private collections. In 1730 he became a private tutor in the Dresden house of the elector’s court poet Johann Ulrich König. Two years later he published a treatise on morality, Die wahren Absichten des Menschen. Heinecken then became steward at the house of the minister, Graf Sulkowsky. After Sulkowsky’s fall Graf Heinrich von Brühl, the most powerful man at the Saxon court, took on Heinecken as librarian and private secretary. In 1737 he translated Longinus’ On the Sublime from the Greek. In this work Heinecken pointed to the importance of ancient art theory long before Winckelmann, attracting much attention and the enmity of Gottsched. Under Brühl’s protection Heinecken, who was without wealth, was knighted, awarded the Alt-Döbern estate and managed Brühl’s estates, factories and finances. He was promoted to Oberamtsrat at the Saxon court; his unusual expertise in art and his clear judgement caused the king, ...

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

Basil Gray

[‛Alīshīr Navā’ī; Mīr ‛Alī Shīr; Alisher Navoi]

(b Herat, Feb 9, 1441; d Herat, Jan 3, 1501).

Islamic poet and patron. He was active at the court of the Timurid ruler Husayn Bayqara (see Timurid family §II, (8)). Born into a cultured family of Uighur chancellery scribes that had long been in service to the Timurids, ‛Alishir joined his foster brother Sultan Husayn at Herat after studying in Mashhad and Samarkand. Briefly governor of Herat in the Sultan’s absence, ‛Alishir established himself as an intimate of the Sultan without specific duties. As one of the wealthiest men of his time, he joined the Sultan as a major patron of the arts. Together they supported the poet and mystic ‛Abd al-Rahman Jami (d 1492), who initiated ‛Alishir to membership in the Naqshbandi order of mystics. He was a patron of the lutenist Husayn and the flautist Shaykhi, as well as many historians, poets and littérateurs. Under the pen-name Nava’i, which referred to his musical interests, ‛Alishir himself composed nearly 30 literary works in all the major contemporary genres, and he is universally recognized as the greatest practitioner of Chaghatay (eastern) Turkish literature. A standing portrait of ‛Alishir in old age signed by ...

Article

Gregor M. Lechner

(b Wangen, Allgäu, Nov 24, 1670; d Ottobeuren, Oct 20, 1740).

German churchman, writer and patron. He entered the Order of St Benedict in 1688 and studied philosophy and theology at Ottobeuren and at the Benedictine university at Salzburg. He was ordained a priest in 1694 and began pastoral work in Tisis, Vorarlberg. His first theological writings date from 1702. Having served as agriculturalist (1703–10) to the abbey of Ottobeuren, he was elected the 52nd abbot of Ottobeuren on 8 May 1710. In 1711 he became regional governor, in 1712 imperial councillor and hereditary chaplain and in 1718 praeses (president) of the Benedictine congregation at Salzburg. He is regarded as the second founder of Ottobeuren through his commissioning (1711) of an extensive building programme (see Ottobeuren), in which the architecture mirrors the mind and faith of its builder, being a synthesis of Benedictine order and freedom, severity and serenity, individual and community, nature and art, worldliness and spirituality. The building marks the flowering of German late Baroque monastery architecture in the prestigious, imperial style. The exact progress of the building of the monastery and its new church can be reconstructed from the 14 surviving volumes of the Abbot’s diaries (Ottobeuren, Benedictine abbey; Munich, Bayer. Haupstaatsarchv), which are divided into political, ecclesiastical and economic sections. Portraits of ...

Article

Boyd Johnson

[Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍl Allāh]

(b Hamadan, ?1247; d Tabriz, July 18, 1318).

Persian bureaucrat, historian and patron. Physician to the Ilkhanid ruler Abaqa (reg 1265–82), vizier to Ghazan (reg 1295–1304) and Uljaytu (reg 1304–16), and author of administrative reforms aimed at promoting a centralized tax-based government, Rashid al-Din probably played a major role in the transformation of Ilkhanid government from a nomadic Central Asian regime into a sedentary Islamic polity. He attained great power and wealth, possessing extensive agricultural and economic interests across the Ilkhanid dominions, and his varied intellectual interests reflected the cosmopolitan nature of Ilkhanid society. He contributed to the flowering of Persian historical writing, and his greatest work, the Jāmi‛ al-tawārīkh (‘Compendium of histories’, or ‘World history’), is the first universal history with sections on the Mongols, Chinese, Franks, Jews, Indians and the Islamic dynasties. He also wrote books on Islamic theology and practical science including agriculture, mineralogy, civil and naval architecture, and translated works on Mongol and Chinese medicine, pharmacology and government....

Article

Jaynie Anderson

(b Dresden, Jan 7, 1847; d Lugano, Aug 25, 1937).

German art historian, collector and dealer. The son of a Lutheran clergyman, he first studied theology at Leipzig but while travelling in Italy in 1869 became interested in early Christian archaeology, in which field he determined to continue. His first publications were on the sources of Byzantine art history and the mosaics of Ravenna. In 1876 he met Giovanni Morelli, whose disciple he became. Their lengthy correspondence constitutes an important source for the early history of connoisseurship. Richter published a short biography of Leonardo in 1880, then a series of articles in the Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst and finally his edition of the Literary Works of Leonardo (1883), the work that established his reputation as a scholar. This was the first scholarly edition of Leonardo’s writings, illustrated, moreover, with a selection of mostly authentic drawings at a time when books on Leonardo were normally illustrated by his pupils’ works....

Article

Saga  

Samuel C. Morse

(b ad 786; reg 809–23; d 842).

Japanese emperor, poet, calligrapher and patron of the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism. Along with Kūkai and Tachibana no Hayanari, he is regarded as one of the Sanpitsu (Three Brushes; master calligraphers) of the Heian period (ad 794–1185) (see Japan §VII 2., (ii)). He was the second son of Emperor Kanmu (reg 781–806), who founded the capital Heian (now Kyoto) in 794, and Empress Otomuro (ad 760–90). In 809 he succeeded his half-brother, Emperor Heizei (reg 806–9), to the throne as the 52nd emperor of Japan, and although he abdicated in 823, Saga remained the most powerful figure at court until his death. Politically the most significant event of his career occurred in 810 when Heizei attempted to return the centre of government to the old capital of Heijō (now Nara). Saga and his allies quickly crushed the rebellion, thereby assuring a pre-eminent cultural role for Kyoto in subsequent Japanese history. Saga had a deep passion for Chinese culture. He actively promoted the use of Chinese modes of dress and the adoption of Chinese nomenclature for the various structures of the imperial palace. He wrote accomplished poetry in Chinese and was responsible for the compilation of two imperial anthologies, the ...

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

Anne-Françoise Leurquin

Manual for religious and moral instruction commissioned by Philip III, King of France (reg 1270–85), from his confessor, the Dominican Frère Laurent. The work was finished in 1279–80 and was a literary success. Over 100 manuscript copies have survived, with printed editions appearing in the 15th century, and translations were made into English, Castilian, Catalan, Italian, Dutch and Occitan.

Although the presentation copy is lost, 7 manuscripts have a complete cycle of 15 full-page images and another 20 have selected images. The scenes include representations of the Ten Commandments, the Credo, the Pater noster, the Apocalyptic beast, the Last Judgement and personifications of the virtues and vices paired with moralizing scenes taken mainly from the Old Testament. The images, like the text, are extremely didactic. Nearly all the fully illuminated manuscripts were made for the royal entourage at the turn of the 14th century, often by exceptional artists. Two books were made for the royal family in ...

Article

Peter Kidson

(b c. 1081; d Saint-Denis, 1151).

French ecclesiastic, patron, and writer. He was born of an obscure and perhaps humble family, and at the age of ten he was presented as an oblate to Saint-Denis Abbey, around which his entire life and career revolved. As his competence and flair for business were recognized he was promoted secretary to the abbot, provost of outlying properties, and envoy to the papal court. In 1122 he became abbot. While in statu pupillari he formed a lifelong friendship with the future King Louis VI of France (reg 1108–37). During the Second Crusade he was Regent in the King’s absence.

As a man of affairs and adviser to kings, Suger was not fundamentally different from other eminent 12th-century ecclesiastics, but under his abbacy the administration of the resources of Saint-Denis was completely overhauled, monastic life in some sense ‘reformed’, and the abbey church itself partially rebuilt and refurbished. It is the fact that he wrote about the building operations that makes Suger a subject of interest to art historians. Contemporary accounts of medieval buildings are rare, and sufficient in themselves to make the buildings historically interesting, but Suger’s texts are exceptionally important because the west portals of Saint-Denis had perhaps the earliest ...

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 ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

( Kyrle )

(b London, Oct 13, 1897; d Sharon, CT, April 18, 1986).

American archaeologist, curator and collector . Trained as an artist at the Slade School, University College, London, in 1920 he joined the graphic section of the Egyptian Expedition to Thebes, organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. During the 1920s and 1930s Wilkinson painted facsimiles of Egyptian tomb paintings in the museum collection, and he joined museum excavations in the Kharga Oasis (Egypt) and Qasr-i Abu Nasr and Nishapur (Iran). Transferred to the curatorial staff of the museum in 1947, he became curator in 1956 of the new Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, which merged with the Department of Islamic Art in 1957. Through his energetic collaboration on major excavations at Hasanlu, Nimrud and Nippur, Wilkinson greatly expanded the Ancient Near Eastern collections at the Metropolitan Museum. After his retirement from the museum in 1963, he taught Islamic art at Columbia University and was Hagop Kevorkian Curator of Middle Eastern Art and Archaeology at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (...

Article

Zervos  

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine

French collectors, writers and patrons. Christian Zervos (b Cephalonia, Greece, 1 Jan 1889; d Paris, 12 Sept 1970) was of Greek origin and worked briefly for the magazine L’Art d’aujourd’hui, before founding Cahiers d’art in 1926. Covering contemporary painting and sculpture, music, architecture, film and photography, this magazine was internationally acclaimed not only for its promotion of major modernist artists but also for its immaculate presentation and typography. Its authors included critics, historians and aestheticians (Zervos himself, Tériade, Maurice Raynal, Georges Duthuit, P. G. Bruguière, Dupin), lending each issue a balance of historical analysis and poetic sensibility. Zervos’s concern with the relationship of image to text also extended to confrontations between contemporary art and non-European or primitive sources, such as Cycladic, African, or Oceanic art.

In addition to his editorial work, Zervos published his own monograph on Henri Rousseau (1927) and then books by other authors on Frank Lloyd Wright (...