Looking Widely, Looking Closely—Iznik in Athens: Ottoman-Style Tile Revetments on Interwar Public Buildings in Greece

Historians of Islamic Art Third Biennial Symposium: Looking Widely, Looking Closely

Recorded October 18–20, 2012

Part Nineteen of Twenty-Six

George Manginis, Independent Scholar

The early part of the twentieth century witnessed an intensification of nationalistic sentiment in the Balkans; the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire shifted state boundaries and resulted in dramatic population movements. The major move to Greece after 1922 resulted in the foundation of pottery factories which continued this tradition in the shapes and decorations of their wares. Their principal commissions were Neoclassical but also Ottoman-style tile revetments for Greek state buildings. The latter fashion may at first seem surprising but a careful reading of the buildings and the politics of the time reveals a tangled historical and cultural context.

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