Hüseyin Özkan, Sculptures, Men (left) and Women (right), 1944-53, Anitkabir (Mausoleum for Mustafa Kemal Atatürk), Ankara, Turkey.
This collection of essays explores the role of design and decorative arts in the making of modern Turkey, from the late Ottoman Empire through the early Republican period. A tension between receptiveness to European aesthetic currents and nationalist sentiments constituted the deep structure of Turkish culture and politics in this period. The essays address this tension across a wide range of creative activities, including private and public architecture, domestic interiors, painting, photography and propaganda, exhibitions, advertising, furniture, and graphic design. The texts examine continuities and ruptures between the late Ottoman and early Republican period, while offering an overall picture of the creative energy and visual politics of the Kemalist Revolution. Although the chronological scope ends with the 1950s, an introductory essay explores issues that continue to resonate today with the rise of political Islam, integration with global markets, and collapse of convergent theories of modernity.
Sibel Bozdogan, guest editor, has been a lecturer at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, since 2000. She holds a professional degree in architecture from Middle East Technical University, Ankara (1976), and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (1983). She has taught architectural history and theory at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Istanbul Bilgi University, where she has been an affiliated professor since 2007. She has researched and published extensively on transnational histories of modern architecture and urbanism with a specific focus on Turkey, including the interdisciplinary volume Rethinking Modernity and National Identity in Turkey, coedited with Resat Kasaba (1997); Modernism and Nation Building: Turkish Architectural Culture in the Early Republic (2001), which received the 2002 Alice Davis Hitchcock Award of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Koprulu Book Prize of the Turkish Studies Association; and Turkey: Modern Architectures in History, coauthored with Esra Akcan for a multivolume series by Reaktion Books (2012).
Jon Mogul is assistant director for research and academic initiatives at The Wolfsonian–FIU. In that role he oversees the museum's publications, its fellowship program, and its relationship to the academic community at Florida International University. He has curated or cocurated several of the museum's exhibitions, most recently Myth and Machine: The First World War in Visual Culture (opened November 2014) as well as contributing to a number of Wolfsonian publications, and also serves as senior editor for the Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts. He is currently chair of the Association of Research Institutes in Art History, a consortium of North American museums and research centers. He earned a PhD in history, with a specialization in modern Russia, from the University of Michigan.
Esra Akcan is an assistant professor of art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her architecture degree from Middle East Technical University (METU), her PhD from Columbia University, and she has taught at Columbia, the New School, Pratt Institute, METU, and Humboldt University. Akcan has received awards and fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin, Clark Art Institute, Graham Foundation, Getty Research Institute, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Mellon Foundation, DAAD, and KRESS/ARIT. Her publications include Çeviride Modern Olan (YKY, 2009); Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (coauthored with Sibel Bozdogan; Reaktion, 2012); and Architecture in Translation (Duke University Press, 2012).
Gunkut Akin is a professor of architecture at Istanbul Bilgi University. He holds a degree in architecture from the Academy of Fine Arts, Istanbul, and a PhD from Istanbul Technical University (1985), where he taught history and theory courses for thirty years. He has also served as dean of the faculty of fine arts, Cyprus International University, Nicosia (2008–10). His areas of interest range from archaeological sources of vernacular architecture to the medieval and Ottoman architecture of Turkey to the modern architectural culture of Turkey and the Mediterranean world. He has published many articles on these topics in Turkey and internationally.
Edhem Eldem is a professor of history at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley; Harvard; École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris; and been a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg. His publications include French Trade in Istanbul in the Eighteenth Century (1999); The Ottoman City between East and West (1999); A History of the Ottoman Bank (1999); Pride and Privilege: A History of Ottoman Orders, Medals and Decorations (2004); Death in Istanbul (2005); Consuming the Orient (2007); Un Ottoman en Orient (2010); and Scramble for the Past: A Story of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire (2011).
Elvan Altan Ergut is associate professor and associate dean, Middle East Technical University (METU), Faculty of Architecture. She holds BArch and MA degrees from METU, and a PhD from SUNY-Binghamton, and she has taught and published on nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture and architectural historiography. Her publications include Rethinking Architectural Historiography (coeditor; Routledge, 2006); Conservation of Twentieth Century Architectural Heritage [in Turkish] (Chamber of Architects, 2009); Spaces / Times / People of the Republic [in Turkish] (METU Faculty of Architecture, 2010); and The Formation of a Capital City: Traces of Austrian, German and Swiss Architects in Ankara (Goethe Institute, 2012).
Ahmet Ersoy is a historian at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. He holds a PhD in architectural history from Harvard University, and MA and BA degrees from Middle Eastern Technical University. He has published widely, in both Turkish and English, on late Ottoman cultural and architectural history. Among his recent publications are Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeastern Europe (1775–1945): Texts and Commentaries, vol. III / I and vol. III / II (co-editor; Budapest, 2010); and "Osman Hamdi Bey and the Historiophile Mood," in The Poetics and Politics of Place: Ottoman Istanbul and British Orientalism (Seattle and Istanbul, 2011).
F. Dilek Himam is an assistant professor in the Department of Fashion and Textile Design, Izmir University of Economics. She received a BA from the Engineering and Architectural Faculty, Textile Engineering Department, Uludağ University (1999); an MA from Ege University, Institute of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology (2005); and a PhD from Dokuz Eylül University, Department of Traditional Turkish Arts. Her academic interests address fashion theory, contemporary fashion and dress history, material culture studies, museology studies, and gender studies.
Ela Kacel received a PhD in the history of architecture from Cornell University in 2009. Drawing on case studies from postwar Turkish modernism, her research considers the role of intellectuals in the production of knowledge and space in the context of social change, cultural politics, and consumerism. Her writing has been published in several books, including Third World Modernism (Routledge, 2010), edited by Duanfang Lu. Her recent project addresses how Turkish migrants perceived urban space in postwar Germany and their representations in photography. She is currently teaching histories and theories of architecture and design at Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul.
Sinan Niyazioglu is assistant professor of graphic design at Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul. He received a master’s degree from Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts (2003), writing the thesis "Twentieth-Century Protest Art and Graphic Design." He has designed catalogues and publicity material for Mimar Sinan University and has participated in numerous exhibitions as a designer and curator, including his recent exhibition and book, Posters and Icons 2004–06 (2009).
Gülname Turan is a lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University. She holds a professional degree in industrial design (1999) and a PhD in art and design history (2009) from Istanbul Technical University. She has taught design project and design history/theory courses at Istanbul Technical University and Istanbul Bilgi University. She is interested in industrial design history and craft history, has presented at international conferences, and published papers in journals such as Design Issues, "Turkey in the Great Exhibition of 1851" (2009) and Furniture History, "Turkish Furniture Design in the 1930s" (2010).
Christopher S. Wilson holds degrees from Temple University, the Architectural Association, London (MA), and Middle East Technical University (PhD). He has worked professionally as an architect in Philadelphia, Berlin, and London, and is a registered architect with the Royal Institute of British Architects. He has presented scholarly papers at conferences in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Japan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His book, Beyond Anitkabir: The Construction and Maintenance of National Memory, will be published in June 2013 by Ashgate Press.
Founded in 1995, The Wolfsonian uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, political, and technological changes that have transformed the world. The Wolfsonian encourages people to see the world in new ways, and to learn from the past as they shape the present and influence the future.