Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sakip Sababcu Museum

Another site near where we will be staying in the second half of the semester is the Sakip Sabnci Museum.  Among their collections is a calligraphy collection, which I'm pretty sure that I will HAVE to see at some point.  It includes a number of illuminated Quran manuscripts.

Click here for information on the museum.

Also, for some information on the importance of calligraphy in Islamic art check out this discussion from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Emirgan Park

During the final portion of our course, we'll be staying in the area of Istanbul called "Istinye."  We'll be near the Bosphorus, as well as Emirgan Park a large historic park that includes Ottoman era pavilions. Although we won't be able to experience the tulip festival, which is apparently quite lovely, it should be an interesting and relaxing place to visit on your own when we have the time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Orpheus Returns

One of the issues related to the study of ancient cultures is the repatriation of art and artifacts.  In the past decade there has been quite a bit of effort by certain countries, including Turkey and Italy, to have ancient art and artifacts returned to their original historical contexts.  Such is the case with this mosaic of Orpheus, which has been housed in a Dallas museum (click here for article).  In some cases, such as this one, museums holding antiquities from ancient contexts, especially pieces whose procurement might be questionable, are taking the first step, returning pieces to their countries of origin.  This issue raises a number of questions, including who should be responsible for historical artifacts and what are the benefits of having artifacts "in situ."