James Joyce collection donated to New York library

A statue of James Joyce in Zurich’s Fluntern cemetery, where he is buried. (Reuters)
Updated 16 March 2018
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James Joyce collection donated to New York library

NEW YORK: One of the foremost private collections of works by the influential Irish writer James Joyce has been donated to New York’s Morgan Library and Museum.
The 350-piece collection includes numerous signed and inscribed first editions, photographs, posters and manuscripts, including a fragment of his magnum opus “Ulysses” and rare pressings of 78 RPM recordings of the author.
The collection was assembled by New York gallery owner Sean Kelly and his wife Mary.
“It is difficult to summarize in a few words the importance of this extraordinary gift to the Morgan Library & Museum,” said museum director Colin Bailey.
“It adds enormously to our small but distinguished Joyce collection, and instantly establishes the Morgan as a major center for scholarly research related to the author’s life and work.”
The museum is planning a public exhibition in 2022, the centennial of the publication of “Ulysses.”
Joyce’s life and works are also commemorated at the James Joyce Center in Dublin and in a collection at the University of Buffalo.
The Morgan Library is the former private library of John Pierpont “JP” Morgan, a central figure in the world of finance at the turn of the 20th century.
It was opened to the public by his son following his death and has since become a museum focused on literature.


What We Are Reading Today: Ottoman Baroque by Ünver Rüstem

Updated 16 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Ottoman Baroque by Ünver Rüstem

  • Ünver Rüstem reclaims the label “Ottoman Baroque” as a productive framework for exploring the connectedness of Istanbul’s 18th-century buildings to other traditions of the period

With its idiosyncratic yet unmistakable adaptation of European Baroque models, the 18th-century architecture of Istanbul has frequently been dismissed by modern observers as inauthentic and derivative, a view reflecting broader unease with notions of Western influence on Islamic cultures. 

In Ottoman Baroque — the first English-language book on the topic — Ünver Rüstem provides a compelling reassessment of this building style and shows how between 1740 and 1800 the Ottomans consciously co-opted European forms to craft a new, politically charged, and globally resonant image for their empire’s capital.

Rüstem reclaims the label “Ottoman Baroque” as a productive framework for exploring the connectedness of Istanbul’s 18th-century buildings to other traditions of the period. Using a wealth of primary sources, he demonstrates that this architecture was in its own day lauded by Ottomans and foreigners alike for its fresh, cosmopolitan effect. Purposefully and creatively assimilated, the style’s cross-cultural borrowings were combined with Byzantine references that asserted the Ottomans’ entitlement to the Classical artistic heritage of Europe. 

Such aesthetic rebranding was part of a larger endeavor to reaffirm the empire’s power at a time of intensified East-West contact, taking its boldest shape in a series of imperial mosques built across the city as landmarks of a state-sponsored idiom.

Copiously illustrated and drawing on previously unpublished documents, Ottoman Baroque breaks new ground in our understanding of Islamic visual culture in the modern era and offers a persuasive counterpoint to Eurocentric accounts of global art history.