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The Sultan’s Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art
Textile Museum

Fri, 09/21/2012 (All day) - Sun, 03/10/2013 (All day)

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[Exhibition]
The Sultan’s Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art

Where  |Textile Museum
2320 S Street, NW
Washington, DC

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About This Event

This September, The Textile Museum will open The Sultan’s Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art (September 21, 2012–March 10, 2013). The exhibition and its accompanying catalog chronicles how one of the world’s most powerful empires adopted a singular artistic style and how that style gained lasting influence in the region.

Just as the brands of today strive to do—from political candidates to consumer products—the Ottoman Empire represented itself at home and abroad through a single, instantly recognizable visual aesthetic. It was during the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–1566), that a single artist—Kara Memi—introduced a new design repertoire inspired by forms found in nature. The stylized tulips, carnations, hyacinths, honeysuckles, roses, and rosebuds immediately gained popularity across a broad range of media, carrying connotations of Ottoman court patronage, luxury, and high taste. The floral style continues to embody Turkish culture: Turkey’s tourism bureau markets the nation with a tulip logo.

A 192-page, full-color catalog titled The Sultan’s Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art accompanies this exhibition, written by the exhibitions co-curators, Textile Museum Senior Curator Sumru Belger Krody and Professor Walter B. Denny. The Sultan's Garden will also provide subject matter for the 40th Annual Fall Symposium, "Ottoman By Design: Branding an Empire," October 12–14, 2012.

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