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Empire of the Sultans. Ottoman Art from the Khalili Collection, US tour of the exhibitions

Empire of the Sultans
Ottoman Art from the Collection of Nasser D. Khalili

Catalogue in association with the the US tour of the exhibition Empire of the Sultans, held in 13 venues in the USA between February 2000 – February 2004

Published 2000

J.M. Rogers

Expanded and revised edition

Empire of the Sultans was the first exhibition based on objects from the Islamic Collection. It opened at the Musée Rath, Geneva, in 1995 and was then shown at the Brunei Gallery, London, and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, in 1996-7. The US tour of the exhibition covered 13 venues between 2000 and 2004.

The Turkish holdings in the Khalili Collection constitute the most comprehensive collection of Ottoman art outside Turkey, with examples from the 15th to the early 20th centuries. The Collection is especially strong on calligraphy, and provides an important corrective to the Western view of Ottoman art as consisting principally of ceramics and textiles. The written word is shown in the many aspects it assumed within the empire, religious, administrative and cultural: as the vehicle of the Qur’anic text, as mosque decoration or in the literature of dervish orders; in works of science and geography; in royal decrees and genealogies; and as presented in the hands of some of the greatest calligraphers of the Empire. Weaponry, scientific instruments, calligrapher’s tools and metalwork are also represented, together with bookbindings, carpets, textiles and pottery.

The catalogue illustrates 203 items from the Collection in full colour (226 items in the US edition). Each objects is catalogued in detail, and two introductory essays narrate the history of the Ottoman Empire and of the collection of its artefacts and Western attitudes to them.

About the author(s)

Professor J.M. Rogers – Fellow of the British Academy; Honorary Curator, Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art; Former Deputy Keeper of the Department of Oriental Antiquities, British Museum, London; inaugural Nasser D. Khalili Chair of Islamic Art and Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; specialist in many aspects of Islamic culture and history, especially Seljuk and Ottoman arts


[3000 copies]; reprinted 2002 [2000 copies]; soft cover Arts Services International, Alexandria, Virginia, & The Nour Foundation, London, in association with the Khalili Family Trust. 32 x 24cm; 304 pages ISBN: 0-88397-132-1 [First edition] ISBN: 0-88397-143-7 [Second edition/ re-print]


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