Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Above: Damascus (Syria): Nur al-Din Hospital (Bimaristan Nuri): sections of muqarnas dome over entrance hall, by Ernst Herzfeld. Drawing, H. 22 7/16 in. (57 cm); W. 15 3/16 in. (38.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Department of Islamic Art, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1943 (eeh1451). http://libmma.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16028coll11/id/50
Ernst Emil Herzfeld (1879-1948) was a German archaeologist, philologist, geographer and historian in the field of Near Eastern Studies. A formidable figure in Central European scholarship during the early twentieth century, his major contributions include archaeological excavations at Samarra (Iraq), Pasargadae, Persepolis and Kuh-i Khwaja (Iran); architectural surveys of Damascus, Northern Syria, and Mesopotamia; mapping of remote regions in Kurdistan (Iraq and Iran); and recording and publishing architectural inscriptions in Arabic and Middle Persian.
The Ernst Herzfeld Papers housed in the Metropolitan Museum are divided between the Department of Islamic Art and the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. The museum’s holdings consist of several thousand items from Herzfeld's archives, including photograph negatives, photographs, original drawings and paintings, clippings, correspondence, maps, sketchbooks, notebooks, squeezes and manuscripts of scholarly work. These materials span Herzfeld’s professional career from his collegiate studies in Berlin (1899-1902) to his residence as a senior scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1936-1944). Items document both original findings and synthetic research pertaining to sites and monuments in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, India and Egypt. While representing only part of his archive, the Metropolitan Museum's holdings are integral to understanding Herzfeld's scholarly career.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
-A place of beauty in the making, as opposed to the beauty made.
-Elite residents worked with the Life-Giver to negotiate everlasting but mortal deliverance from earthy suffering.
-Mortals could and should not enter the sacred.
-Sacred enters individual.
Motifs - narratives - "song of wind" - fauna, wildlife - the architecture anticipates the arrival of the sacred.
Flowers rain down - images/motifs of flowers spread over walls and ceilings.
Flowers spread fragrance.
importance of flowers - song, painted, crafted, carved - summon divine to ritual arena.
Images painted and carved - depict humans with flowers flowing from mouth or musical instrument.
Floral friezes often frame thematic murals - recall tapestries and carpets and decor that characterize outdoor processional and dance areas.
Also included garland, crowns, posies and song/music flower songs
Other iconographic elements included with flower friezes - medallions, classical urns, cherubs and put, birds and animal and mythical monsters.
Friezes highly rhythmic in form visually - perceived as drumbeats.
Repetition plays into this.
The formal order of friezes reflect the formal elements of dance.
Images echo costumes used in dance.
Example of dance - costumes (eagles, lions, tigers, monkeys, birds, dogs, bat).
Trees laden with sweet-smelling flowers.
Boys dresses as birds descended from trees while elders danced. Boys wore gold bells on ankles and wrists. Sucked dew from flowers in trees.
Blue and Red - two vital fluids of the cosmos - Water and Blood
Black and Red - chromatic metaphor for sacred metaphor.
Despite the availability of extensive range of pigments these colors dominate.
Mapping - churches consistently represented as blue and red places.
Blue - turquoise-blue
"Like sentinels, they speak as glyphic morphemes of the nature of the place we are about to access: "This is the place of the blue and the red flowers; this is the place of the source of life."
16th century Indian Mexico
Image of Christianity was not copied - rather read and rewritten.
Churches perceived as the living replicas of the landscapes/ out sacred features.
Ayaucalli - "mist house", a temple or group of temples dedicated the rain deities.
Oyoalli - hollow, pear or almond shaped create ornament, associated with pulque gods, possibly used as a rattle instrument
Tzoalli - mixture of amaranth seed with honey or maize flower used to make effigies of deities and other sacred things.
Xonecuilli - "twisted foot", name give to ritual "breads", often in shape of "S" to represent lightning or in the shape of a butterfly, name of a star of constellation.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Monday, June 19, 2017
Excited to be part of this exhibition.
Three of my pieces are included in the show.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Sassanian silk industry, established in Iran.
Great importance to Islamic rulers.
Practice of distributing silk robes to courtiers and official as a mark of royal appointment or favor.
Textiles also important as a means to implement Sassanian motifs into other cultures.
Religious constraints stimulated new forms of art
Forbidden to drink from gold and silver vessels, okay to eat off gold/silver.
Wood, glass, ceramic had to be made for the more pious.
Article on Discovery.