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Sacred: World Faiths Brought to Book

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Sacred. This groundbreaking exhibition brings together some of the world’s most important and beautiful religious texts for the first time. Exquisite and rare examples of Jewish, Christian and Muslim sacred texts from the Library’s collections will be presented alongside treasures on loan from other institutions in a unique and compelling modern context.

Sacred marks the first time that sacred texts from these three faiths will have been displayed and explored together, side by side, in a major UK exhibition. The British Library is one of the world’s great treasure-houses for the study of all religions. For Islam, over 300 manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an from all parts of the Muslim world from Spain to China, including one of the oldest surviving copies in the world (from Mecca or Medina, eighth century), as well as commentaries, works on recitation and other Qur’anic sciences, a very large collection of Hadith manuscripts containing the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as a comprehensive collection of Islamic law texts.

Sacred: World Faiths Brought to Book, British Library, London, 27 April – 23 September 2007

The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7332
email: Visitor-Services@bl.uk

Text/Photograph © The British Library Board
http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/faiths.html

JOC provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes and makes no warranty with regard to their use for other purposes.The written permission of the copyright owners and/or holders of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemption. JOC has made every reasonable effort to locate, contact and acknowledge copyright owners and wishes to be informed by any copyright owners who are not properly identified and acknowledged on this website so that we may make any necessary corrections.

Written by calligrapher

April 22, 2007 at 10:20 am

Posted in Exhibitions

Ali Emiri Efendi and His World- Exhibition

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A Selection from the Millet Manuscript Library. Ali Emiri Efendi and His World.
Fermans, berats, calligraphies, books.

If the cultural inheritance of past, particularly the fragile and perishable pieces of the inheritance – such as books, documents, manuscripts or photographs – miraculously manage to survive until the present day, it is mostly trough the efforts of a number of nameless heroes, who dedicate their entire lives to the collection, preservation and transmission of these objects to future generations. Thanks to these men, who recognize and appreciate their value, many priceless works of the past have withstood wars, destructions or natural disasters, transcending centuries to assume their places in today’s contemporary museums and library collections. Ali Emiri Efendi and his world exhibition we are hosting in two sections, in the halss of Pera Museum and Istanbul Research Institute today, sheds light to the unconventional adventure of such a man. Through the imperial edicts, books and calligraphic works he excavated from the debris of a deteriorating empire, and subsequently preserved and donated to the Millet Library he established, as well as a selection of his personel belongings and documents, we encounter the persona of Ali Emiri Efendi as a “culture man” and journey into a world he was passionately connected to.

Hosted by Pera Museum (3rd floor) and Istanbul Research Institute, Ali Emîrî Efendi and his World exhibition is compartmentalized into three major sections. The first section is comprised of 49 fermans and berats, extending over 500 years, from Sultan Süleyman, the Magnificent, to Sultan Reşad. These 49 spectacular works of tuğra (imperial monogram), hat (calligraphy and tezhip (decoration) are being brought to light for the first time. The second section includes 31 kıt’as (rectangular calligraphic works) and levhas (large-scale panels) by the greatest masters of calligraphic art. Penned by Şeyh Hamdullah, Hâfız Osman, Yedikuleli Seyyid Abdullah, Şeyhülislâm Veliyüddin Efendi, İsmail Zühdi, Mahmud Celaleddin and Kadıasker Mustafa İzzet Efendi, these calligraphies reveal the quintessence of Ottoman aesthetics. The third and final section is a selection from the rare and precious books Ali Emîrî Efendi collected in a lifetime. This wide spectrum consists of 69 books, ranging from the Ottoman sultans’ collective poetry to medicine, from geography to history and Sufism. Discovered by Ali Emîrî Efendi in 1914, the sole copy of the legendary Dîvânu Lugâti’t-Türk, which was written by Mahmud of Kashgar in the 11th century, is revealed to the public for the first time in this exhibition.

24 January – 1 July 2007, Pera Museum Istanbul and Istanbul Research Institute.

Contact Info:

Meşrutiyet Caddesi No.141
34443 Tepebaşı – Beyoğlu – İstanbul
Tel. + 90 212 334 99 00
Fax. + 90 212 245 95 11
info@peramuzesi.org.tr

Visiting Hours:

Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 – 19.00
Sunday 12.00 – 18.00
The museum is closed on Monday.

About Ali Emiri Efendi ( 1854 Diyarbakır – 1924 İstanbul)

Ali Emîrî Efendi was born in Diyarbakır, one of the most significant areas among the Ottoman provinces. He was not exposed to a conventional education. Much like all Tanzimat period employees, his life was spent traversing the empire’s geography from one end to the other. He collected rare books in the course of his travels. The ones he could not acquire, he copied by hand to save them being forever lost. For Ali Emîrî Efendi, books were not a collection item but rather a tool for discovery through reading. He was not interested in the movements of modernization during the period in which he lived. His greatest passion was to familiarize new generations with the Ottoman-Turkish heritage. To accomplish this, he established the Millet Library and donated his books to his “nation.”

Ali Emîrî Efendi was a poet, a historian, a biographer and a publisher. He was particularly recognized as the book connoisseur who rediscovered Dîvânu Lugâti’t-Türk. He was never married, never had his photograph taken and never set foot in Beyoğlu. He spent his life reading and writing, in the company of his books and cats.

Text/Photograph © Pera Museum, Istanbul

Written by calligrapher

April 12, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Exhibitions

‘Calligrapher Ottoman Sultans Exhibit’

Sunday, June 13, 1999

In Turkey, public and private museums organize various activities for Museum Week which takes place between May 18-24,1999. In this context, one of the most interesting displays was opened at the Foundations General Directorate’s “Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum.” The “Calligrapher Ottoman Sultans Exhibit,” which opened on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire and of Museum Week, was greeted with enthusiasm by art lovers and people interested in Turkish calligraphy.

“Some of the Ottoman sultans were interested not only in literature and music but also artistic writing, and that is why we can see their calligraphic works in religious buildings, museums and special collections. The sons of the Ottoman sultans also showed a keen interest in this art. Ottoman sultans who acquired a reputation for calligraphy were Murat II, Murat III, Beyazid II, Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, Murat IV, Suleyman II, Mustafa II, Ahmet III, Mahmut II and Sultan Abdulmecid. It is well known that Murat II was particularly skilled in “sulus” and “nesih,” but we don’t know who his teacher was. Bayezid II (1481-1512) studied at a religious school, took lessons from well-known calligrapher Sheikh Hamdullah and after he became sultan, he invited his teacher, who lived in Germany, to come to Istanbul.

Beyazid II, who used the pseudonym Adli, followed in the footsteps of his teacher and, at the end, their “sulus” and “nesih” writings were so similar that it was almost impossible to separate them. Kanuni Sultan Suleyman composed poems using the pseudonym “muhibbi” and we know from various sources that he was an expert in “sulus” and “talik.” Murat III (1574-1595) took lessons from Sheikh Suca Halveti and wrote “nesih” and “talik.” His works are preserved in the Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum and the St. Sophia Museum. It is believed that Murat IV (1623-1640) started writing “talik” after taking lessons from the Persian Imad.
Suleyman II (1687-1691) took lessons from Ahmet Efendi of Tokat and used the “sulus” and “nesih” scripts. Mustafa II (1695-1703) was the student of Hocazade Mehmet Efendi and Hafiz Osman and became an expert in “talik,” “nesih,” and “sulus.” It is believed that a “besmele” (prayer recited by Muslims before starting a new project) which is kept in the St. Sophia today belonged to Mustafa II. Sultan Ahmet III (1703-1730) took lessons from the famous calligrapher of the time Hafiz Osman and wrote in the “sulus” and “celi” scripts. His writings were ornamented by famous gilding artist Tozkondurmaz Mustafa Aga. The “celi” hadith on the Yeni Valide Camii in Uskudar, the panel on the Ayazma mosque, the kiosk with his name in Sultanahmet and the script on the door of the Hirka-i Saadet Office where the sacred belongings of the Topkapi museum are kept are his work. Besides, two of his Korans have been sent to the Ravza-i Mutahhara in Medina. The Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum includes his calligraphy panels brought from the Ortakoy Kucuk Mecidiye Mosque and the Halicioglu Mihrisah Sultan Mosque.

Mahmut II was able to spare the time for art and especially calligraphy even during the most difficult times of the empire. He took lessons from Mehmet Vasfi Efendi and Mustafa Rakim. Beyazid II has calligraphy plates in the Suleymaniye and Uskudar Yeni Valde mosques, the Konya Mevlana Museum and the Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum. Abdulmecid (1839-1861) was an Ottoman sultan known for his sympathy for Western culture. He used the “sulus,” “celi” and “rika” scripts and took lessons from Mahmud Celaleddin and Tahir Efendi. His works are kept in the Beylerbeyi Mosque and the Turkish Calligraphy Art Museum.
The plates on the altar of the St. Sophia were also written by Ottoman sultans. Yet the sultans did not want to sign them out of respect for the sanctity of the St. Sophia. It was only when experts analyzed the plates later on that they understood that the handwritings belonged to the rulers.

The “Calligrapher Ottoman Sultans Exhibit” at the Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum during Museum Week introduced this little known aspect of the Ottoman sultans to the people. Furthermore, museum director Dr. Z. Cihan Ozsayiner recently started new research at the Foundation’s General Directorate. “

Text © ERDEM YUCEL, Turkish Daily News. http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/archives.php?id=12838

Written by calligrapher

March 28, 2007 at 5:05 am

Posted in Exhibitions

‘Calligrapher Ottoman Sultans Exhibit’

leave a comment »

Sunday, June 13, 1999

In Turkey, public and private museums organize various activities for Museum Week which takes place between May 18-24,1999. In this context, one of the most interesting displays was opened at the Foundations General Directorate’s “Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum.” The “Calligrapher Ottoman Sultans Exhibit,” which opened on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire and of Museum Week, was greeted with enthusiasm by art lovers and people interested in Turkish calligraphy.

“Some of the Ottoman sultans were interested not only in literature and music but also artistic writing, and that is why we can see their calligraphic works in religious buildings, museums and special collections. The sons of the Ottoman sultans also showed a keen interest in this art. Ottoman sultans who acquired a reputation for calligraphy were Murat II, Murat III, Beyazid II, Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, Murat IV, Suleyman II, Mustafa II, Ahmet III, Mahmut II and Sultan Abdulmecid. It is well known that Murat II was particularly skilled in “sulus” and “nesih,” but we don’t know who his teacher was. Bayezid II (1481-1512) studied at a religious school, took lessons from well-known calligrapher Sheikh Hamdullah and after he became sultan, he invited his teacher, who lived in Germany, to come to Istanbul.

Beyazid II, who used the pseudonym Adli, followed in the footsteps of his teacher and, at the end, their “sulus” and “nesih” writings were so similar that it was almost impossible to separate them. Kanuni Sultan Suleyman composed poems using the pseudonym “muhibbi” and we know from various sources that he was an expert in “sulus” and “talik.” Murat III (1574-1595) took lessons from Sheikh Suca Halveti and wrote “nesih” and “talik.” His works are preserved in the Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum and the St. Sophia Museum. It is believed that Murat IV (1623-1640) started writing “talik” after taking lessons from the Persian Imad.
Suleyman II (1687-1691) took lessons from Ahmet Efendi of Tokat and used the “sulus” and “nesih” scripts. Mustafa II (1695-1703) was the student of Hocazade Mehmet Efendi and Hafiz Osman and became an expert in “talik,” “nesih,” and “sulus.” It is believed that a “besmele” (prayer recited by Muslims before starting a new project) which is kept in the St. Sophia today belonged to Mustafa II. Sultan Ahmet III (1703-1730) took lessons from the famous calligrapher of the time Hafiz Osman and wrote in the “sulus” and “celi” scripts. His writings were ornamented by famous gilding artist Tozkondurmaz Mustafa Aga. The “celi” hadith on the Yeni Valide Camii in Uskudar, the panel on the Ayazma mosque, the kiosk with his name in Sultanahmet and the script on the door of the Hirka-i Saadet Office where the sacred belongings of the Topkapi museum are kept are his work. Besides, two of his Korans have been sent to the Ravza-i Mutahhara in Medina. The Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum includes his calligraphy panels brought from the Ortakoy Kucuk Mecidiye Mosque and the Halicioglu Mihrisah Sultan Mosque.

Mahmut II was able to spare the time for art and especially calligraphy even during the most difficult times of the empire. He took lessons from Mehmet Vasfi Efendi and Mustafa Rakim. Beyazid II has calligraphy plates in the Suleymaniye and Uskudar Yeni Valde mosques, the Konya Mevlana Museum and the Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum. Abdulmecid (1839-1861) was an Ottoman sultan known for his sympathy for Western culture. He used the “sulus,” “celi” and “rika” scripts and took lessons from Mahmud Celaleddin and Tahir Efendi. His works are kept in the Beylerbeyi Mosque and the Turkish Calligraphy Art Museum.
The plates on the altar of the St. Sophia were also written by Ottoman sultans. Yet the sultans did not want to sign them out of respect for the sanctity of the St. Sophia. It was only when experts analyzed the plates later on that they understood that the handwritings belonged to the rulers.

The “Calligrapher Ottoman Sultans Exhibit” at the Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Art Museum during Museum Week introduced this little known aspect of the Ottoman sultans to the people. Furthermore, museum director Dr. Z. Cihan Ozsayiner recently started new research at the Foundation’s General Directorate. “

Text © ERDEM YUCEL, Turkish Daily News. http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/archives.php?id=12838

Written by calligrapher

March 28, 2007 at 5:05 am

Posted in Exhibitions