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Making the Invisible Visible: Conservation and Islamic Art

April 2–August 4, 2013

Damascus Room Study Project

Beth Edelstein
Associate Conservator
The Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation


Damascus Room, dated A.H. 1119/A.D. 1707. Syria, Damascus. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of The Hagop Kevorkian Fund, 1970 (1970.170)

As part of the conservation of the Damascus Room, conservators and conservation scientists conducted an in-depth study of the room with an eye toward better understanding its original appearance and layout. This project made a significant contribution to the study of Syrian reception rooms worldwide. Similar interiors can be found in museum collections, universities, in private hands, and in their original locations in homes in Damascus, Aleppo, and Hama.

The results of the study were shared with the conservation community at the International Institute for Conservation's biannual conference in Istanbul in September 2010, and at the Architectural Paint Research Conference in Lincoln, U.K., in August 2010. Related articles and poster publications are available below, in addition to related publications and links to information about other Syrian interiors.


Publications

Baumeister, M., Edelstein, B., Rizzo, A. et al. 2010. "A splendid welcome to the house of praises, glorious deeds and magnanimity." In Conservation and the Eastern Mediterranean. International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) Contributions to the Istanbul Congress, Rozeik, C., Roy, A. and Saunders, D. (eds), 20–24 September 2010. London: IIC.126–133.

Schultz, J., Arslanoglu, J., and Petersen, K. 2010. "The use of ELISA for the identification of proteinaceous binding media from an eighteenth-century Damascene reception room." Poster presentation in Conservation and the Eastern Mediterranean. International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) Contributions to the Istanbul Congress, 20–24 September 2010. Rozeik, C., Roy, A. and Saunders, D. (eds) London: IIC. 269.

Fair, L., Rizzo, A., and Edelstein, B. 2010. "Painting techniques in Ottoman interiors." Poster presentation in Conservation and the Eastern Mediterranean. International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) Contributions to the Istanbul Congress, 20–24 September 2010. Rozeik, C., Roy, A. and Saunders, D. (eds) London: IIC.

Scharrahs, Anke. Damascene Ajami Interiors: Forgotten Jewels of Interior Design. London: Archetype books, 2013


Related Links

The Damascus Room at Shangri La, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawaii
http://shangrilahawaii.org/Islamic-Art-Collection/Collection-Highlights/Late-Ottoman-Syrian-interiors-and-furnishings/Damascus-Room/

'Ajami Wood Paneling in the Damascus Room at Shangri La. Presented by Anke Scharrahs
http://vimeo.com/47620230

The Syria-Lebanon Room at the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning
http://www.pitt.edu/~natrooms/syria-lebanon/syri.html#

The Dresden Damascus Room
http://www.skd.museum/en/museums-institutions/japanisches-palais/museum-fuer-voelkerkunde-dresden/the-dresden-damascus-room/index.html


Related Videos

Conserving The Damascus Room

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True Colors: The Damascus Room

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Discoveries Symposium Part 4

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