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Letters in Gold exhibition- Ottoman Calligraphy



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There's some information about the exhibit at the attached site.  Also
attached is the Turkish site for the Sabanci foundation, with many of the
pieces in the exhibit on display.  It is one of the best educational resources
about Ottoman calligraphy on the net.


Jake Benson

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<title>LETTERS IN GOLD: OTTOMAN CALLIGRAPHY FROM THE SAKlP SABANCl COLLECTION, ISTANBUL</title>
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    <td><b><p ALIGN="CENTER"><img src="images/letters.gif" width="457" height="55"
    alt="letters.gif (3372 bytes)"><br>
    <br>
    <img src="images/graym.jpg" width="475" height="54" alt="graym.jpg (21122 bytes)"></p>
    </b><p ALIGN="CENTER"><font color="#004080"><b>September 11 - December 13, 1998<br>
    Special Exhibition Galleries, second floor</b></font></p>
    <i><p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p></i><font size="6" color="#400080"><strong>C</strong></font><font SIZE="3">alligraphy,
    according to an aesthetic dictum found in early Islamic sources, is &quot;a spiritual
    geometry produced by a material instrument.&quot; The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents <b>Letters
    in Gold: Ottoman Calligraphy from the</b> </font><b><u>Sak<small><font
    face="WP MultinationalB Roman"><i>l</i></font></small>p Sabanc</u><font
    FACE="WP MultinationalB Roman"><small><i>l</i></small></b> </font><font SIZE="3"><b>Collection,
    Istanbul</b>, featuring some 70 objects from the largest private collection of Ottoman
    calligraphy in Turkey. On view at the Metropolitan from September 11 through December 13,
    the exhibition of works from the 15th through the early 20th century will be seen
    subsequently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.</font></p>
    <font SIZE="3"><p>&nbsp;<u></p>
    <p><a href="#More">More About Islamic Calligraphy</a></p>
    <p><a href="#Exhibition Publications">Exhibition Publications</a></p>
    </u><p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p>This exhibition is made possible <u>by </font>Sabanc<font
    FACE="WP MultinationalB Roman"><small><small>l</small></small> </font><font SIZE="3">Holding/Akbank,
    Istanbul, Turkey</u>. </p>
    <p>It was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of
    Art.</p>
    <p>&nbsp;<b></p>
    <p><a name="More">More About Islamic Calligraphy: Evolution of Islamic Calligraphy</a></b></p>
    <p>Because it was originally formalized from the need to transcribe the Qur&#146;an in the
    seventh century A.D., Islamic calligraphy -- writing of aesthetic value in characters
    based on the Arabic alphabet and script -- has always occupied a central position in the
    arts of Islam. Throughout the centuries the greatest master calligraphers developed
    different styles, always striving for balance, elegance, and harmony in their work. From
    the early, angular so-called &quot;kufic&quot; script, calligraphy later evolved mainly
    into a cursive style (generically called <i>naskhi</i>)<i> </i>in the 11th to 12th
    century. According to the various calligraphic styles that developed, cursive script was
    assigned different names often based on the relationship between the height and the width
    of the letters and of their endings. </p>
    <p>&nbsp;<b></p>
    <p>Development of Ottoman Calligraphy</b></p>
    <p>As Ottoman calligraphy evolved from the 15th century, soon after the empire conquered</p>
    <p>Constantinople-Istanbul and established a firm power over Anatolia, this art form
    flourished and was embellished by great masters. Featured in the exhibition are works by
    the most important masters, including the highly celebrated <font
    FACE="WP MultinationalA Roman">Ô</font> eyh Hamdullah.</p>
    <p>Among the variety of works on view will be: lavishly illuminated copies of Qur&#146;ans
    (including one by <font FACE="WP MultinationalA Roman">Ô</font> ehzâde Korkut from the
    late 15th century and another by Ahmed Karahisârî, dated 1541) and other manuscripts of
    religious contents; and <i>murakkaas</i> (calligraphic albums, often of horizontal format
    and sometimes mounted in an accordion-type binding, including one by the great master <font
    FACE="WP MultinationalA Roman">Ô</font> eyh Hamdullah from the late 16th century) and
    individual leaves thereof (called <i>kit&#146;as</i>), frequently framed with marbleized
    paper borders. The exhibition will also include large calligraphic compositions of pious
    inspiration, called <i>levhas</i>, including one by Sultan Mahmud II from the 19th
    century, which were intended for framing and were usually hung in religious buildings
    (they were written in large script in order to be legible from a distance and were
    ornamented with artistically decorated borders); another type of large, vertical panel for
    the same purposes as the <i>levha, </i>called <i>hilye</i>, such as one by </font>Çömez
    Mustafa Vâs<font FACE="WP MultinationalB Roman">2</font>f <font SIZE="3">dated 1821,
    which were usually mounted on wooden boards; and, finally, a number of long scrolls
    containing official documents such as imperial edicts or firmans (<i>ferman</i>), warrants
    (<i>berat</i>), and patents (<i>men<font FACE="WP MultinationalA Roman">Õ</font> ur</i>)
    -- including that of </font>Abdülhamid II<font SIZE="3"> by Nâsih Efendi, dated 1883.
    These scrolls always included a <i>tu<font FACE="WP MultinationalA Roman">&#151;</font> ra</i>,
    the splendid and imposing imperial monogram of the sultan currently on the throne, at the
    beginning. <i>Tu<font FACE="WP MultinationalA Roman">&#151;</font> ras</i>, on which
    illuminators lavished all their skills, were usually executed in gold, lapis blue, and
    black colors. Originally, the text following the monogram was written in <i>riq&#146;a, </i>a
    fairly straightforward script. Subsequently, <i>dîvânî</i>, a vigorous and elaborately
    ornate script which reached its apogee at the turn of the 19th century, was prevalent.</p>
    <p ALIGN="JUSTIFY">&nbsp;</p>
    <b><p ALIGN="JUSTIFY"><a name="Exhibition Publications">Exhibition Publications</a></b></p>
    <p><i><b>Letters in Gold: Ottoman Calligraphy from the</font> Sak<small><font
    face="WP MultinationalB Roman">l</font></small>p <font SIZE="3">Sabanc</font><small><font
    face="WP MultinationalB Roman">l</font></small> <font SIZE="3">Collection, Istanbul</b></i>,
    will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue. Compiled and written by M. U<font
    FACE="WP MultinationalA Roman">&#151;</font> ur Derman, a leading Turkish scholar of
    Ottoman calligraphy, and published by the Metropolitan Museum, it will be available in
    both softcover ($35) and clothbound ($50) editions in the Museum&#146;s bookshops.
    Distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., the catalogue is also available at bookstores
    nationwide. </font><u><b></p>
    <p>Sak<small><small><font face="WP MultinationalB Roman">l</font></small></small>p Sabanc<small><small><font
    FACE="WP MultinationalB Roman">l</font></small></small></b></u></p>
    <p ALIGN="left">Sak<small><small><font face="WP MultinationalB Roman">l</font></small></small>p
    Sabanc<small><small><font face="WP MultinationalB Roman">l</font></small></small><font
    SIZE="3">, who heads </font>Sabanc<font FACE="WP MultinationalB Roman"><small><small>l</small></small>
    </font><font SIZE="3">Holding, Turkey&#146;s leading financial and industrial
    conglomerate, sees fine art as a bridge to human and international relations and is very
    proud to offer the first exhibition in the New World dedicated exclusively to Ottoman
    calligraphy.</font></p>
    <p><br>
    </p>
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<html><title>SABANCI COLLECTION - Paintings</title>
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<P><FONT FACE="Times New Roman">THE SABANCI COLLECTION

<br><FONT SIZE="+1">Calligraphy</FONT>
</FONT>

<hr>

<P><IMG SRC="26x.jpg"><P>
</CENTER>


<HR>
<P><U><b>Special Exhibition:</b></P></U>
<P> The exhibition "Letters in Gold-Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakýp Sabancý Collection-Istanbul" will take place at the<A HREF="http://www.metmuseum.org/";> Metropolitan Museum of Art in NewYork </A> between Sep 11<SUP>th</SUP>-Dec 13<SUP>th</SUP>, 1998 and at the <A HREF="http://www.lacma.org/";> Los Angeles County Museum of Art </A> between Feb 25<SUP>th</SUP>-May 17<SUP>th</SUP> 1999.</BR>
<CENTER><A HREF="metropolitan/mlistexxx.html">Exhibition Index</A></center></BR>

<HR>

<TABLE BORDER=0>

<TR><TD><UL><B>Calligraphy:</B>

 <LI><A HREF="more/turkish.html">The Art Of Turkish Calligraphy</A>

 <LI><A HREF="more/tools.html">Tools & Materials</A>

 <LI><A HREF="more/contrib.html">Turkish Contribution To Calligraphy</A>

 <LI><A HREF="more/ottoman.html">The Ottoman Period</A>

 <LI><A HREF="more/illumin.html">Calligraphy Illumination</A>

</UL>
</TD>


<TD><UL><B>Applications of Calligraphy:</B>

<LI><A HREF="more/a1.html">Manuscripts</A>

<LI><A HREF="more/a2.html">KIT'A</A>

<LI><A HREF="more/a3.html">Murakkaa</A>

<LI><A HREF="more/a4.html">Levha</A>

<LI><A HREF="more/a5.html">Mosque Inscriptions</A>
<LI><A HREF="more/a6.html">Inscriptions</A>
<LI><A HREF="more/a7.html">Hilye</A>

<LI><A HREF="more/a8.html">Ferman, Berat, Mensur</A>
</UL>
</TD></TR>
</TABLE>

<BR>
<CENTER>
<B>Calligraphy collection:</B><BR>
<A HREF="more/isim.html">Artist Index</A>

<P><FONT color="Silver" SIZE="-1" FACE="Geneva,Arial">edited by M.Uður Derman</FONT>
<P><HR>

<FONT SIZE="-1" FACE="Arial">You may freely use these pictures as long as it is for non-profit
oriented reasons. However you should include a note that the pieces are from the
SABANCI COLLECTION!
</FONT>

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<HR>
<FONT SIZE="-1" FACE="Times New Roman" COLOR="Silver">Copyright (c) H.Ö.SABANCI HOLDING A.Þ.
<BR>13 Aug 1998
</FONT></CENTER>
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