Janaury 16, 2010– Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner
Lecture by Nurhan Atasoy, Resident Scholar, Turkish Cultural Foundation, Istanbul

Some pictures
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Ottoman Sultans and their courts used tents during state ceremonies, daily outings or picnics, and especially during their extensive military campaigns of invasion and battle. Imperial Ottoman tents copied the general system or plan of an Ottoman palace, and the sultan's tent complex included everything he needed in his palace, including a tower, in function resembling the Tower of Justice, a tent for the treasury, a tent for the holy relics, a tent for the Council of State, a tent of solidarity, a kitchen tent, storage tent, bath tent, etc. The imperial tent complexes were viewed as mobile palaces, and the Ottoman tent-makers took the palace architecture as models for their tents. The walls were based on column-arch system, and the roofs were based on conical, pyramid or vault systems. The interiors of imperial tents are decorated with embroideries copying the beautifully decorated palace buildings, have the same functions, and reflect a very highly civilized lifestyle.

Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy is one of the world’s pre-eminent scholars of Islamic and Turkish art, and is currently a Research Scholar at the Turkish Cultural Foundation. In addition to teaching art history at Istanbul University, Prof. Atasoy was the head of many university departments, including President of the Department of Fine Arts, and the Dean of the Faculty of Letters. She has organized, attended and lectured at many international conferences and symposia on Ottoman Turkish and Islamic art. Prof. Atasoy has also curated many national and international exhibitions, and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including for outstanding performance in Turkish Museum Studies and Archaeology, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Turkey, and the State “Award for Superior Achievement" in 2006. She has published more than 100 articles and 21 books, among them IPEK, The Cresent and the Rose: The Art of Ottoman Silk Weaving, London 2001 ( with W. Denny, L. Mackie, H. Tezcan,) and the exhibition catalog for Ottoman Tents, at the Topkapi Palace Museum Imperial Stables in Istanbul.

Nurhan Atasoy: Portrait in miniature

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