The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (IFCA) or Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC has recently expanded the images included in their website dedicated to the photographs of Nicholas V. Artamonoff, who photographed Ottoman monuments and daily life in Istanbul during the 1930s and 1940s. Other Turkish cities represented in the collection include Bergama, Bursa, Izmir, Selçuk and Yalova. While the ICFA holds a collection of Artamonoff’s images in their repository, they discovered that other photographs are held in the the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives of the Smithsonian Institution in the Myron Bement Smith Collection. The addition of 477 images from the Smithsonian brings the total number of photographs available in the ICFA’s website to more than 1,000.
The ICFA’s website allows users to browse images individually or by parent institution, historic site, or keywords. There is also a map with plotted points that link to images in the collection to allow users to browse geographically and a “Zoom.it” viewer function.
For more information, visit the Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection.
Image: Nicholas V. Artamonoff. Cityscapes, Istanbul, View of the Atatürk Bridge and Süleymaniye Cami, no date. Myron Bement Smith Collection, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Artamonoff P382.
Many Viennese museums include important works of art from the Islamic world in their collections. Often these works are rarely exhibited, not well-known to the public or even to Islamic scholars. The Virtual Museum of Islamic Art in Vienna brings together images from disparate museums and repositories so that they may be viewed, studied, and compared in a new and meaningful context.
The virtual museum’s website is available here. Images can be accessed according to the collections (“Museen”) or according to the dates of the objects (“Zeitstreifen”). Currently the site is only available in German.
The Netherlands Institute in Turkey has recently released the first installment of digital images from the vast photographic archives of Dutch historian Machiel Kiel.
A former director of the Netherlands Institute in Turkey (NIT), at which this project is now implemented, Kiel is a scholar whose career has revolved around the study of Ottoman-Islamic architectural monuments in the Balkan countries — an area of study that he pioneered. His archive represents an invaluable source for researchers of this heritage. Created for the most part between the 1960s and 90s, it contains visual documentation of many monuments that have not survived, or have been significantly altered in, the second half of the twentieth century. The publication of Kiel’s archive by the NIT is hoped to significantly advance international research on this heritage.
Images are available for publication free of charge (with attribution). For more information, see the FAQ section of this page.
The Chester Beatty Library Seals Project:
is an online, interactive database of seal impressions found in Islamic Manuscripts… as a visitor to the site, you are invited to participate in deciphering the seals, identifying the individuals or institutions named, and adding information such as other sources of the same seal impression or other seals that name the same individual or institution.
As there is currently no convenient means by which to find or share information on seal impressions, we hope that this database will be a useful resource for anyone working on Islamic manuscripts.
A user guide is available here. Individual seals are available for download as low-resolution files for teaching or research. Seal records are also linked to the full manuscript so entire folios may be easily viewed.
The Nicholar Artamonoff Collection at Dumbarton Oaks, an archive of historical photographs of Byzantine Turkey, is available online.
The Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection includes 543 photographs taken in Istanbul and five archaeological sites in Western Turkey (Ephesus, Hierapolis, Laodicea on the Lycus, Pergamum, Priene) from 1935 to 1945. The high quality photographs are of great value as they show buildings, sites, and objects that no longer exist or are in a better state of preservation than today.
Photographs may be browsed by tag (keyword), site name, and geography. Each photograph also includes a correlating Google Map, allowing visitors to see historical
Last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its new Islamic wing: Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia. The New York Times featured an interactive guide to the wing, including panoramic views of galleries which may be expanded to full-screen.
Inaugurated in Italy, the Virtual Museum of Iraq includes tours of treasures from Baghdad’s National Museum:
Available in Arabic, English and Italian, the Virtual Museum of Iraq offers visitors the opportunity to move through eight virtual galleries and see highlights from the collection from the prehistoric to the Islamic period. Animated videoclips provide details.
Via The Ancient World Online
A recent article in the LA Times describes the threats faced by an ancient Afghan archaeological site, Mes Aynak. The threats include war, looting, and now bulldozing by a Chinese mining company searching for copper.
…a dozen archaeologists and 100 Afghan laborers are working like army ants to finish the dig. Many valuable relics were looted long ago, and the archaeologists won’t be able to save the ancient edifices from the mining company. But they can remove the statues, pottery and gold and silver coins still buried within the buildings.
“We don’t know exactly how much time we have to excavate the site. Sometimes the deadline is 14 months and sometimes it’s two years.”
Photographs of the excavation published online by the LA Times are available here.
With the help of a Preservation and Access Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and with additional funding from an anonymous donor, the Walters has completed its program to create digital surrogates of its collection of Islamic manuscripts and single leaves. Images are free for any noncommercial use, provided you follow the terms of the Creative Commons license specified by the museum.
Images of the manuscript are available for download from Flickr, including high-resolution images. Full manuscript PDFs (including data) are also available on the Walters website (see the above example here).
The Oriental Institute Museum exhibition Visible Language: Inventions of Writing in the Middle East is on view through Sunday March 6th.
Exhibit curator Christopher Woods, Associate Professor at the Oriental Institute, said, “In the eyes of many, writing represents a defining quality of civilization. There are four instances and places in human history when writing was invented from scratch — in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Mesoamerica — without previous exposure to or knowledge of writing. It appears likely that all other writing systems evolved from the four systems we have in our exhibition.”
For museum hours, click here.