Turks at the Royal Academy of Arts

by Nathan Hamm on 1/19/2005 · 2 comments

First Australia, now the U.K. My country suffers an unfortunate deficit of museum exhibits on Turkic civilizations (that I’m aware of anyway, and I am not being entirely fair as we did have this nice little show here in Philadelphia).

The Royal Academy of the Arts is currently showing Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years (this website has been hit or miss for me). Here’s their description:

This exhibition explores the art and culture of the Turks from Inner Asia to the Bosphorus over a thousand year period between 600 and 1600 AD. Their journey incorporated many different centres of power and artistic traditions. The story begins with the Uighurs, a nomadic people of Central Asia and China, and ends with the Ottoman Empire from the reign of Mehmet II to Suleyman the Magnificent including the fall of Byzantium and the spread of Ottoman rule to include Mecca and Medina.

The Guardian has a review and pictures from the show.

I kind of get the impression from the descriptions that the exhibit’s presentation implies that Turks–all of them–slowly moved westwards, culminating in the Ottoman Empire, which seems to be the focus of the exhibit. That is a little misleading of course, but it sounds like a great exhibit nevertheles..


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 2 comments }

Dilshod January 19, 2005 at 3:44 pm

Today I have been to this long awaited event. To say it is nice would be understatement; is’t brilliant. Exhibits are very rare and the craftmanship just exquisite. Genuine articles present the nature of all Turcic nations as independent tribesmen, masterful and fine craftsmen, nature loving and exquisite art folk. I just recommend to go and see it with your own eyes. To see the grand cultures and fine achievements of that long forgotten part of the world, cradle of Islamic civilisation.

Younghusband January 21, 2005 at 6:40 pm

For those of you that will be in London check out this exhibition:
http://www.economist.com/cities/briefing.cfm?calendar=1&city_id=LDN

I saw a similar exhibition last summer in Osaka, near where I live in Japan. It was very well designed and went from the Hittite period, through the Byzantine into the Ottoman, and finished with the Topkapi Dagger, on loan from Topkapi Museum. Brilliant. You can see some info and pics here:
http://www.mus-his.city.osaka.jp/news/2003/turk_3daibunmei/turk_1.html

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