War, Art, and the End of the Ottoman Empire, 1912-1923

Location: Turkey

Year (s): 2018-2020

Research Fellow: Dr. Gizem Tongo

Funding: BIAA (Post-doctoral Fellowship)

Under BIAA’s SRI (s):

  • Cultural heritage, society and economy in Turkey
  • Anglo-Turkish relations in the twentieth century

Summary: This project focuses on the Ottoman art world in the final years of the empire and explores how wars and the occupation changed the conditions of art production, its agents, and the art itself during the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), First World War (1914-1918), and the Armistice Period (1918-1923). Combining the methodologies of social, cultural and art history, it details diverse actors, including patrons, collectors, critics, artists, and exhibition committees, as well as a rich variety of visual images, from popular illustrations to easel paintings. The project will aid the completion of a book manuscript on cultural and art history of the late Ottoman Empire, with the working title ‘War, Art, and the End of the Ottoman Empire.’


Dr. Gizem Tongo is a historian specialising in the visual culture of the late Ottoman Empire. She holds a doctorate in Oriental Studies from St John’s College, University of Oxford, where she was a Lord Dulverton Scholar and later a Barakat Postdoctoral Scholar in the Khalili Research Centre. Her doctoral thesis focused on Ottoman painting and painters during the First World War, exploring how the war was represented in the Ottoman painting of the same period, and how it in turn changed the conditions of Ottoman art production between 1914 and 1918.

Belongs to;
History, Social & Political Sciences
Late Ottoman & Early Republican History
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