AMYSINGER THE MÜLKNAMES OF HÜRREM SULTAN'S WAQF IN JERUSALEM In the spring of 1986, thousands of people in Washington, D.C., visiting an exhibition at the National Gallery, stopped to marvel at the elegant signature of the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman I. Its gold and blue curving form, delicately embellished with tiny flowers in red and green, together with the other stunning examples of calligraphy, textiles, jewelry, ceramics and painting on display, exemplified Süleyman's Western epithet, "the Magnificent" . Yet this audience of museum goers, and subsequent crowds in Chicago, New York, London, Paris, and Berlin, may not have appreciated that the imperial signature on the wall was not intended to be displayed before so many eyes, and indeed probably never had been prior to this exhibition. Few, if any, knew something of the document which was written beneath the signature; in fact, the text was rolled up during the exhibit, hiding the black and gold lines of intricate script which bore the message of this imperial deed. It would have been impossible for anyone to comprehend, then, the combined impact of the document's message and its physical form. I This dissociation of form and content forced upon the museum-goers
Muqarnas Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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