E253 | The styles of Iznik and Kütahya porcelain, which have become synonymous with excellence in Ottoman-Turkish ceramics, adorned and renovated buildings in a radius extending beyond the Anatolian heartland and including Damascus, Mecca, and Cairo. They bear a striking resemblance to the colorful and ornate tiles on many buildings in the city of Jerusalem today, including the Dome of the Rock. This is due to the fact that the iconic ceramics industry of Jerusalem was founded after the First World War by Armenian ceramists who had gotten their start in the resurgent tile industry of late Ottoman Kütahya. As we learn from our guest in this episode, Sato Moughalian, the transfer of this celebrated ceramics tradition from Kütahya to Jerusalem was largely through the figure of David Ohannessian (1884-1953), a master ceramist who came up in the local ceramic arts of the western Anatolian region and received commissions from the likes of Ottoman governors, revivalist architects, and European notables, including Sir Mark Sykes. He survived the travails of deportation to the Syrian desert during WWI only to recreate his art and business in Mandate Palestine. In the podcast, we trace the material history of Ottoman Armenians through the life and journeys of Ohannessian and reflect on the history of Armenian music through some pieces recorded by Moughalian and her colleagues.
Visuals and more at http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2016/07/armenian-ceramics.html
New York flutist Sato Moughalian has a multi-faceted career, performing as a chamber musician, solo and orchestral player, and has recorded widely. In 1993, she founded Perspectives Ensemble at Columbia University to culturally contextualize the works of composers and in 2013 was awarded the Catalan government's Ramon Llull Prize for Creative Arts for her work on Xavier Montsalvatge. Additionally, she has been researching the life of her grandfather, David Ohannessian (1884-1953), who founded the Armenian ceramics tradition in Jerusalem in 1919, and is writing his biography for publication by Redwood Press/Stanford University Press.
Chris Gratien holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University's Department of History. His research focuses on the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. He is currently preparing a monograph about the environmental history of the Cilicia region from the 1850s until the 1950s.
Seçil Yılmaz received her PhD degree in History from the Graduate Center, CUNY with her dissertation entitled “Love in the Time of Syphilis: Medicine and Sex in the Ottoman Empire, 1860-1922.” She is currently a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Society for the Humanities and Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University.
Episode No. 253
Release Date: 31 July 2016
Recording Location: Manhattan, NY
Editing and production by Chris Gratien
Images and bibliography courtesy of Sato Moughalian
Music courtesy of Sato Moughalian
from Oror / Lullaby by Sato Moughalian & Alyssa Reit
Find it on iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/oror-lullaby/id988550822
Keler Tsoler (Komitas)
Miyan Kez (Suni)
Arants Kez Inch Ganim (Sayat-Nova)
from Sato Moughalian, Jacqueline Kerrod, and John Hadfield
Kamancha (Sayat-Nova), arrangement by Alyssa Reit
Makam, arrangement by John Hadfield
Images and bibliography available at http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2016/07/armenian-ceramics.html