The Poetics and Politics of Place: Ottoman Istanbul and British Orientalism

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This unique collection takes a fresh look at Orientalism by shifting its center from Europe to Ottoman Istanbul and thinking about art in terms of exchange, reciprocity, and comparative imperialisms. This new lens reveals the essential role of the Ottoman city and its patrons and artists in the dialogues that facilitated production, circulation, and consumption of British Orientalist cultures. In this volume, art works are conceptualized as traveling artifacts produced through localized interactions. World renowned scholars and curators analyze the diverse audiences for such art works and the range of differing contexts for their reception both in the 19th century and more recently. In this way, British art is put into a dynamic relationship with an historicized understanding of cultures of collecting and display during the formation of comparative modernities and also with the contemporary postcolonial creation of new national models of exhibition and education.

Featuring stunning visuals, this book puts art history in the context of cultural, visual, and literary studies, challenging the orthodoxies of postcolonial theory with the materiality of multiple imperialisms and modernities to offer a new take on the collection, display, and consumption of Orientalist cultures.

University of Washington Press

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What People Are Saying

Leslie Peirce
This rich collection of essays displays a host of new ideas, questions, and insights.
Zeynep Celik
Opens a new window to the study of Orientalist art with a series of intriguing case studies drawn from the nineteenth century British and late Ottoman visual cultures [and] discussions of contemporary art markets and the politics of curating.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295991108
  • Publisher: Suna and Inan Kirac Foundation Pera Museum
  • Publication date: 12/24/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Zeynep Inankur is a professor of art history at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul and coauthor of Constantinople and the Orientalists. Reina Lewis is Artscom Centenary Professor of Cultural Studies at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, and author of Rethinking Orientalism: Women, Travel and the Ottoman Harem. Mary Roberts is the John Schaeffer Associate Professor of British Art at the University of Sydney and author of Intimate Outsiders: The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Travel Literature. Other contributors include Tim Barringer, Edhem Eldem, Ahmet Ersoy, Semra Germaner, Aykut Gürçaglar, Teresa Heffernan, Briony Llewellyn, Nancy Micklewright, Peter Benson Miller, Donald Preziosi, Günsel Renda, Christine Riding, Sarah Searight, Wendy Shaw, and Nicholas Tromans.

University of Washington Press

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Table of Contents


Preface / Suna, Inan and Ipek Kirac

Introduction: Disruptive Geographies / Mary Roberts, Reina Lewis and Zeynep Inankur

Part I: Institutions, Collections, Exhibitions

I. Staging The Lure of the East: Exhibition Making and Orientalism / Christine Riding

II. Cultural Exchange and the Politics of Pleasure / Reina Lewis

III. Bringing It Home? Orientalist Painting and the Art Market / Nicholas Tromans

IV. The Searight Collection / Sarah Searight

V. Cultural Consignment and Cultural (Ex)Change / Donald Preziosi

VI. Orientalism and Photography / Nancy Micklewright

Part II: Constructing History and the Politics of Place

VII. Between the Sublime and the Picturesque: Mourning Modernization and the Production of Orientalist Landscape in Thomas Allom and Reverend Robert Walsh's Constantinople and the Scenery of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor (c. 1839) / Wendy M. K. Shaw

VIII. Genealogies of Display: Cross-Cultural Networks at the 1880s Istanbul Exhibitions / Mary Roberts

IX. Osman Hamdi Bey and the Historiophile Mood: Orientalist Vision and the Romantic Sense of the Past in Late Ottoman Culture / Ahmet Ersoy

X. Traveling East: Veiling, Race, and Nations / Teresa Heffernan

XI. "Solitary Eagle"?: The Public and Private Personas of John Frederick Lewis (1804-1876) / Briony Llewellyn

XII. An Ottoman Traveler to the Orient: Osman Hamdi Bey / Edhem Eldem

Part III. Cultural Mediators, Boundaries, Exchanges

XIII. Mary Adelaide Walker / Zeynep Inankur

XIV. The Dragoman Who Commissioned His Own Portrait / Aykut Gurcaglar

XV. European Artists at the Ottoman Court: Propogating a New Dynastic Image in the Nineteenth Century / Gunsel Renda

XVI. The Interpretation of Pictorial Space in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Landscape Painting / Semra Germaner

XVII. Orientalism and Aestheticism / Tim Barringer

XVIII. The Reception of John Frederick Lewis at the Exposition Universelle in 1855 / Peter Benson Miller

Notes on Contributors


University of Washington Press

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