Iran Heritage Foundation
Wednesday 5th October 2016, 6.30pm
Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP
The thorough archaeological investigation and restoration of a privately owned bath-house in the Zeyrek district of Istanbul has revealed the provenance of large numbers of tiles in collections outside Turkey, including that of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The tiles are remarkable for the great quality and enormous variety of their designs. The tiles still at the site are remarkable for another reason – some bear fragments of two poems in Persian that are written in a style of calligraphy associated with Tabriz in the late Aqqoyunlu period. Yet the patron of the tiles was the great seaman Hayreddin Barbarossa, one of the most famous figures in Turkish history, and the tiles and their poems prompt us to think again about the role of Persian culture in the Ottoman Empire.
Tim Stanley is senior curator for the Middle Eastern collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, having held the post since 2002. He was previously deputy curator of the Khalili Collection. At the V&A he has curated several galleries, most notably the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art (opened 2006), and travelling exhibitions on Islamic art of the Middle East and world ceramics. He has also developed the Jameel Prize, a biennial international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition that has run since 2009. Tim’s research interests currently include both Ottoman and Iranian subjects, ranging from the transmission of gun lock technology and the collecting of Ottoman tiles in Europe to the unacknowledged adoption of Iranian lacquer techniques in eighteenth-century France.