Necipoglu, Gülru 1956- (Gülru Necipoglu-Kafadar)
Necipoglu, Gülru 1956- (Gülru Necipoglu-Kafadar)
Born 1956, in Turkey. Education: Wesleyan University, B.A. (summa cum laude with honors), 1979; Harvard University, M.A., 1982, Ph.D., 1986.
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, teaching fellow, 1981-84, Aga Khan Program, research assistant, 1984-85, research associate, 1985-86, Department of Fine Arts, assistant professor, 1987-89, associate professor, 1989-93, Aga Khan Program, director and professor of Islamic art, 1993—. Columbia University, Mellon-David Heyman Fellow in urban studies, 1986-87, lecturer, 1986-87; visiting post-doctoral fellow at the Villa i Tati, Florence, Italy, 2005.
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (executive committee), ArchNet: Islamic Architecture Community (executive committee); American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, Phi Beta Kappa.
King Fahd Grand Prize for Excellence of Research in Islamic Architecture, 1986, for dissertation; Founder's Award for best article by a young author, Society of Architectural Historians, 1987, for "Plans and Models in 15th and 16th Century Ottoman Architectural Practice"; Turkish Studies Association Award for best article published in the last two years in any discipline, Art Bulletin, 1991, for "Süleyman the Magnificent and the Representation of Power in the Context of Ottoman-Hapsburg-Papal Rivalry"; Albert Hourani Book Award, Middle East Studies Association, Best New Book on Architecture and Urban Planning, Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, and Spiro Kostoff Book Award, Society of Architectural Historians, all 1996, all for Topkapi Scroll; Albert Hourani Book Award (honorable mention), Middle East Studies Association, 2005, and Fuat Köprülü Book Prize in Turkish Studies, Turkish Studies Association, 2006, both for The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire. Recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including the Beinecke Fellowship from Wesleyan University, 1978-81; various travel and research grants from the Department of Fine Arts and the Aga Khan Program at Harvard University, 1982-86; Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Columbia University Society of Fellows in the Humanities, 1986-87; Samuel H. Kress Publication Fellowship from the Architectural History Foundation, 1989; Millard Meiss Fund Publication Grant, 1991; Aga Khan Program Research and Outreach Grant, 1992; National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship from the American Research Institute in Turkey, 1993-94.
(Editor, and author of preface) Sinan's Autobiographies: Five Sixteenth-Century Texts, Brill (Boston, MA), 2006.
Contributor to books and exhibition catalogs, including Raiyyet Rusumu: Essays Presented to Halil Inalcik on his Seventieth Birthday, edited by S. Tekin and G. Alpay-Tekin, Harvard University Press, 1987; Solimán le Magnifique et son temps, Actes du Colloque de Paris Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, 7-10 mars 1990, edited by Gilles Veinstein, Rencontres de l'École du Louvre, 1992; Hagia Sophia: From the Age of Justinian to the Present, edited by Robert Mark and Ahmet Cakmak, Cambridge University Press, 1992; Timurid Art and Culture: Iran and Central Asia in the Fifteenth Century, edited by L. Golombek and M. Subtelny, Leiden, 1992; The Mosque, edited by H. Uddin-Khan and M. Frishman, Thames and Hudson, 1994; Colloque Internationale: Cimetières et traditions funéraires dans le monde islamique, edited by Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont, C.N.R.S., 1996; Theory and Design of Gardens in the Time of the Great Muslim Empires, edited by A. Petruccioli, E.J. Brill, 1997; The Sultan's Portrait: Picturing the House of Osman (exhibition catalog), [Istanbul], 2000; Hadeeth Ad-Dar (exhibition catalog), Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait National Museum, 2006; Purs décors? Arts de l'Islam, regards du XIXe siècle. Collections des Arts Décoratifs (exhibition catalog), edited by Rémi Labrusse, [Paris], 2007; Word of God—Art of Man: The Qur'an and its Creative Expressions, edited by Fahmida Suleman, Oxford University Press, 2007.
Contributor to periodicals and journals, including Muqarnas, Ars Orientalis, Royal Academy of Arts Magazine, Art Bulletin, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Journal of Turkish Studies.
Editor of Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World and Supplements to Muqarnas since 1993; guest editor of Palaces in the Pre-modern Islamic World.
Born in Turkey in 1956, Gülru Necipoglu received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1986 and began teaching there the following year. She is the Aga Khan professor of Islamic art and architecture and the editor of Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World.
The Topkapi Scroll: Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture; Topkapi Palace Museum Library MS H. 1956 is Necipoglu's survey of Islamic architectural drawing. The Topkapi scroll, named for the museum in which it resides, was probably made in the fifteenth or early sixteenth century and is a manual of the architectural designs used for ornaments, mosaics, and decoration. It includes scholarly description and many illustrations. Necipoglu begins her history with the scroll, using it to introduce her subject, and explaining the Islamic use of geometric patterns as a code to record Islamic beliefs, mathematical and religious theories, and popular ideologies.
In Architecture, Ceremonial, and Power: The Topkapi Palace in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, Necipoglu explores the palace itself. Built for the Ottoman sultans, it was their center of business administration and principal residence from the mid-fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. The book describes the construc- tion of the palace and each area of the complex, discussing the use of signs and symbols in the decoration. In Renaissance Quarterly, Pricilla P. Soucek praised Architecture, Ceremonial, and Power, saying: "Necipoglu has provided a solid foundation for future consideration of matters relating to Ottoman palatial architecture and court ceremonial, a truly admirable achievement." Howard Crane's review in the Journal of the American Oriental Society thought the book a valuable asset declaring, "Rich in detail, straight-forward in exposition, the book conveys a clear sense of a complex language of imperial power."
In 1539 Sinan was appointed chief architect to the Ottoman court and continued in that role until his death in 1588. During this time his prolific output included everything from mosques, schools, and hospitals to bridges and waterworks. His work is still regarded with admiration for his innovative ideas. In The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire, Necipoglu attempts to present Sinan's work in a cultural context, including details on how the buildings were funded and workers paid and on the perceived functions of many of the structures.
Yasmin Sariff wrote of The Age of Sinan in the Architectural Review: "The effort that has gone into the research and compilation of this publication is remarkable. It provides a reliable base of information and makes it an essential text for anyone with a serious interest in architecture." In Art Bulletin, Yasser Tabbaa's review was enthusiastic: "Necipoglu's book has opened up many avenues for further research. … This book will stand the test of time, and much of it will not be superseded for several generations."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, June 1, 1994, Alan Fisher, review of Architecture, Ceremonial, and Power: The Topkapi Palace in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, p. 939.
Architects' Journal, August 11, 2005, review of The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire, p. 43.
Architectural Review, November 1, 2005, "Scholarly Sinan," p. 94.
Art Bulletin, March 1, 2007, Yasser Tabbaa, review of The Age of Sinan, p. 164.
Art History, March 1, 1998, Ann Powell, review of The Topkapi Scroll: Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture; Topkapi Palace Museum Library MS H. 1956, p. 135.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, January 1, 1997, review of The Topkapi Scroll, p. 784.
House & Garden, May 1, 1992, Douglas Brenner, review of Architecture, Ceremonial, and Power, p. 68.
International Journal of Middle East Studies, February 1, 1994, Walter B. Denny, review of Architecture, Ceremonial, and Power, p. 99; February 1, 1998, Priscilla P. Soucek, review of The Topkapi Scroll, p. 131.
Journal of the American Oriental Society, April 1, 1996, Howard Crane, review of Architecture, Ceremonial, and Power.
Library Journal, May 1, 1996, Martin Chasin, review of The Topkapi Scroll, p. 91.
New York Times Book Review, December 1, 1991, Martin Filler, review of Architecture, Ceremonial, and Power, p. 12.
Publishers Weekly, January 15, 1996, review of The Topkapi Scroll, p. 452.
Reference & Research Book News, June 1, 1996, review of The Topkapi Scroll, p. 55; February 1, 2004, review of Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World, p. 199; February 1, 2005, review of Muqarnas, p. 223; February 1, 2006, review of Muqarnas; February 1, 2007, review of Muqarnas; May 1, 2008, review of Muqarnas.
Renaissance Quarterly, June 22, 1994, Priscilla P. Soucek, review of Architecture, Ceremonial, and Power, p. 463.
Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, April 1, 1998, Walter B. Denny, review of The Topkapi Scroll, p. 566.
Archnet,http://archnet.org/ (August 5, 2008), author profile.
Sabanci University,http://www.sabanciuniv.edu.tr/ (August 5, 2008), author profile.
[Reviewed by Sarah Ewick on behalf of author.]