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Expanding Islamic Art Historiography

The 1873 Vienna World's Fair

While research on Islamic art became a scholarly field in the twentieth century, it built on studies and perspectives of the nineteenth century. This period saw an intellectual, documentary, artistic, and commercial exploration of 'Oriental' art, and this encounter was accompanied by the rise of academic art history and the museum, and of art reform movements and historicist styles.

The 1873 Vienna World's Fair is a particularly suitable trajectory for expanding Islamic art historiography into this period. It was staged when commercialisation and popularisation, as well as academisation and categorisation of Islamic arts and architecture began to accelerate. Scholarship has recognised the nineteenth-century world's fairs as a major stage of 'Oriental' displays from a global outlook. In Vienna, the organisers promoted the representation of a large number of 'Oriental' countries and foregrounded cultural themes, as to distinguish from previous fairs in London and Paris. The Ottoman Empire, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco partook with a large number of national pavilions designed with motifs of Islamic architecture and showcasing appreciation and broad reception was on display in orientalising designs of products by the European art industries. Paintings, photographs, commissioned books, and articles in newspapers further contributed to the image of 'Oriental' or Islamic art.

This conference aims to look at the Vienna Fair as an intersection of processes and phenomena that contributed to Islamic art historiography. As the sesquicentennial is approaching, the conference will explore the Fair as spaces for exhibiting Islamic arts and architecture, for their commercial and artistic reception, and for setting scholarship in motion. Looking through the lens of the Fair and investigating its making and impact reveals processes that contributed to perceiving and categorising, collecting and studying, institutionalising and commercialising Islamic art, within international, national, and local perspectives.



9.30-10.00 Welcome & Introduction

10.00-11.00 Concepturalizing Islamic Art in Late Nineteenth-Century Art Historiography

Eva-Maria Troelenberg (University of Utrecht)
'Purely Artistic Criteria'? On Islamic Art Historiography and its Categories in Alois Riegl's Art History

Iván Szántó (Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest)
Vienna 1873 - Budapest 1896: Two decades of developing 'Islamic art' in Hungarian scholarship

11.00-11.30 Coffee & Tea Break

11.30-13.00 Exhibiting and Categorizing Islamic Art in the Fair

Nilay Özlü (Bilgi University Istanbul)
The Sultan's Treasury in Vienna: Ottoman Presence at the 1873 Vienna World's Fair

Mercedes Volait (Centre national de recherche scientifique, Paris)
Spolia in se at the Fair, 1867-1889: A Channel for Islamic Reuse in Nineteenth-Century Architecture and Furniture?

Nancy Demerash-Fatemi (Albion College Michigan)
The Scramble of North Africa: Geopolitics, 'Bedouin Style' and Islamic Art at the Tunisian and Moroccan Exhibits of the 1873 Wiener Weltausstellung

13.00-14.30 Lunch Break

14.30-15.30 Mediating Art Through Photography

Erin Hyde Nolan (Maine College of Art)
Expanding Photographic Authorship: The Remaking of the Elbise-i Osmaniyye After 1873

Franziska Niemand (Vittocentre Romont)
Architecture through the Lens of the Vienna Photographers Association: A Case Study of Glass Plaster Windows at the Egyptian and Ottoman Pavilions

15.30-16.00 Coffee & Tea Break

16.00-17.30 Staging Art in 'Oriental' Historicism and Self-Representation

Ahmet Ersoy (Bogaziçi University Istanbul)
The Unsullied and the Bastard: Ottoman Things at the Prater

Maryam Heydardhani (Shahid Beheshti University Tehran)
Mirroring Persia's Aura in Vienna's World Fair: Tracing Agents, Planners and Architectural Features of Iran's Pavilion

Ahmed Wahby (German University in Cairo)
An Opera House in Cairo and a Mamluk Pavilion in Vienna: Egypt's Architectury Duality towards the End of the Nineteenth Century



9.30-11.00: Commercial Trajectories for Collecting and Studying Islamic Art

Elahe Helbig (University of Zurich)
Collecting, Exhibiting, and Mediating Arts and Textiles from 'Persia': The Ziegler & Co. and its Role at the Vienna World's Fair

Georg Vasold (University of Vienna)
The Oriental Museum in Vienna and the Idea of Trade Museums in the Late Nineteenth Century

Barbara Karl (Textile Museum Sankt Gallen)
Symmetric / Asymmetric: Economics and Scholarship in the Context of the Carpet Exhibition at the k.k. Handelsmuseum (1891)

11.00-11.30 Coffee & Tea Break

11.30-13.00 Islamic Art as a Model: Reception and Study in European Art Industries and Arts

Gwendolyn Collaço (Los Angeles County Museum)
Commemorating Triumph at the 1873 World's Fair in Mamluk-Revival Glass

Ibolya Gerelyes (Hungarian National Museum Budapest)
'Saracen' Influences on the Products of the Zsolnay Ceramic Factory, Pécs

Mirjam Rajner (Bar Ilan University Ramat Gan)
Maurycy Gottlieb at the 1873 Vienna World's Fair: A Polish Jewish Artist in Search of an Oriental Identity

13.00-14.30 Lunch Break

14.30-15.30 Disseminating the Fair's 'Orient'

Ceren Gögüs (Istanbul Kültür University)
The Orient at the 1873 Vienna World's Fair: An Inspection of Austrian Printed Press

Federica Broilo (University of Urbino "Carlo Bo")
Arabian Nights on the Danube: The Ottoman Empire at the 1873 Vienna World's Fair in the Words of the Italian Press

15.30-16.00 Coffee & Tea Break

16.00-17.30: Reception of Egyptian Islamic Architecture in Austro-Hungarian Historicism

Elke Pflugradt-Abdelaziz (Düsseldorf)
Works of Carl von Diebitsch as Part of the Franz Schmoranz Jr Legacy with Focus on the 'Egyptische Baugruppe' at the 1873 Vienna World's Fair

Péter T. Nagy (Qatar National Museum Doha)
Beyond the Khedive's Palace: Neo-Mamluk Architecture in Late Nineteenth-Century Budapest

Maximilian Hartmuth (University of Vienna)
World Fairs as Stages and Instruments of Artistic Dissemination, Taste-Making, and Network-Building across the Christian-Muslim Divide

17.30 Closing Remarks