Town and Country: An Ottoman Album of Imperial Sites from 1905

Research Seminar

  • Public event without registration
  • Datum: 30.04.2024
  • Uhrzeit: 18:00 - 19:30
  • Vortragende: Deniz Türker
  • Ort: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rome and online
  • Kontakt:
Town and Country: An Ottoman Album of Imperial Sites from 1905 <i></i>
This seminar centers on a previously unknown photograph album from 1905, whose images constitute the last photographic representations of Yıldız Palace before its wholesale dismantling in 1909 in the aftermath of Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II’s deposition.

The majority of the album’s photographs depict the final expansion of the palace’s architecture and landscape under Abdülhamid’s initiative to improve the area dedicated to his select guests. The remaining photographs are a deliberate selection of architectural shots of other imperial residences in the capital that were of particular importance to the sultan. The possible identity of the album’s owner opens up room for discussion of late nineteenth century decorum, imperial access and restriction; in other words, of the ways in which the visibility of the palatial site was controlled. Most importantly, however, when read together, the album’s photographs construct a biography of Abdülhamid II through the imperial spaces he inhabited. The album’s storyline is all the more pertinent given that Abdülhamid was the only sultan not to employ a court chronicler with the sole task of glorifying his reign. The album’s materiality and its collection of photographs also provides another opportunity to emphasize how much imperial actors were cognizant of new media’s layered, metamorphic qualities.

Deniz Türker is an Assistant Professor of Islamic art and architecture at Rutgers-New Brunswick, who specializes in late-Ottoman and Turkish visual and material cultures. Her first book, The Accidental Palace (Penn State Press, 2022), traces the architectural and landscape history of Yıldız, the last Ottoman palace in Istanbul. She also has a sustained interest in the history of Islamic art collecting (especially in the nineteenth-century Ottoman and Egyptian domains). Her next project is centered on Yıldız Moran’s photographic practice in the context of Anatolia’s rediscovery by Turkish humanists in the 1950s.

It will be possible to follow the event also ONLINE on our VIMEO CHANNEL:

Scientific Organization: Semra Horuz, Alev Berberoğlu

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