When this project was started, it was with the idea of focusing on Cabinets of Curiosities that developed through interactions between Europeans and Italy.  This type of focus leads to the illusion that there was no interaction between Europe and eastern countries, such as the Ottoman Empire, or across the Atlantic in the Americas.  The concern of Eurocentrism arose and so this must be addressed, even if briefly. During the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries, the Ottoman Empire was a massive, sprawling powerhouse of an empire that spanned from the northern point of Budapest down to the Persian Gulf, through Egypt, and over to Algiers.  The Ottoman Empire’s official religion was Islam and, unlike the hostile Holy Roman Empire, their population could practice whatever religion they chose, they would simply be taxed more.  The Ottoman Empire interacted with European countries and, through their interactions, we can see examples of trade, such as coffee, and Orientalism. Orientalism is a term that could be discussed at length but, as a basic definition, it refers to the depiction and/or imitation of cultures from East and South Asia, and Middle Eastern countries.  Usually found in artwork and material goods, it helped to create a sense of exoticism and otherness when Europeans regarded the East.  Wealthy patrons of the art would often commission works showing themselves in Europeanised versions of traditional outfits from Eastern countries and artists would adopt aspects of Eastern art into their own works.  The paintings and costume books often showed those of Eastern countries as barbaric and lacking technology, therefore Orientalism also served as a way for Europeans to try to show themselves as more sophisticated, worldly, and powerful than their Eastern counterparts. It could be argued that Cabinets of Curiosity are European’s way of imposing their hold over the world around them, much like they did with Orientalism.  One collects and owns, giving a sense of superiority, therefore they must be better and more powerful.  It takes a certain level of scholarly knowledge to collect a successful Cabinet, so by knowing what to collect they showcase their level of knowledge.  When reading European travel narratives, there are many references to collecting items from Eastern lands, some collections specialized in purely Chinese objects.  Despite the lack of Ottoman Cabinets of Curiosity, one can be assured that they did collect objects. There was also communication with and cabinets constructed with objects from the Americas.  A book by Surekha Davies is, as of this website’s publication in December 2017, in the works that will focus on the Cabinets of Curiosity with collected objects from the Indigenous peoples of modern day Canada, the Unites States of America, and Mexico. ___________________________________________________________ Further Readings Berardi, Luca. “The Sixteenth-Century Muhit Atlası: From a Venetian Globe to an Ottoman Atlas?” Imago Mundi 69, no. 1 (January 2, 2017): 37–51. https://doi.org/10.1080/03085694.2017.1242839. Fetvaci, Emine. Picturing History at the Ottoman Court. Indiana University Press, 2013. Goffman, Daniel.  The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Goodrich, Thomas D. Tarih-i Hind-i Garbi: The Ottoman Turks and the New World: A Study of Tarih-i Hind-i Garbi and Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Americana. Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz, 1990. Hagen, Gottfried. “Ottoman Understandings of the World in the Seventeenth Century.” In An Ottoman Mentality: The World of Evliya Çelebi, edited by Robert Dankoff, 215–56. The Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage: Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2004. Inal, Onur. "Women’s Fashions in Transition: Ottoman Borderlands and the Anglo-Ottoman Exchange of Costumes," Journal of World History, 22, no. 2 (June 2011): 243-72. Sardar, Marika. “The Art of the Ottomans after 1600.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 2002. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/otto_2/hd_otto_2.htm Shaw, Wendy. "Museums and Narratives of Display from the Late Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic." Muqarnas 24 (2007): 253-79. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25482463. Tezcan, Baki and Gottfried Hagen, eds. Other Places: Ottomans traveling, seeing, writing, drawing the world -- Essays in honor of Thomas D. Goodrich (A special double issue [39-40] of the Journal of Ottoman Studies / Osmanlı Araştırmaları. Istanbul: Isam, 2012. https://www.academia.edu/33924628/Other_Places_Ottomans_traveling_seeing_writing_drawing_the_world_-- _Essays_in_honor_of_Thomas_D._Goodrich_A_special_double_issue_39- 40_of_the_Journal_of_Ottoman_Studies_Osmanl%C4%B1_Ara%C5%9Ft%C4%B1rmalar%C4%B1_
The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1683
Map Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/06/OttomanEmpireIn1683.png/1024px- OttomanEmpireIn1683.png
Bellini, Gentile.  Sultan Mehmed II. 1480, oil on canvas.  An example of a European artist attempting to imitate the Ottoman style. Hals Gillisz Boulenger’s Flower Piece, 1644.  It depicts, at the top, an expensive tulip.  During the 17th c. Tulip Mania took the Netherlands by storm as tulips were introduced from the Ottoman Empire.  A tulip bulb would cost an insane amount.
Eurocentrism
The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1683 Bellini, Gentile.  Sultan Mehmed II. 1480, oil on canvas.  An example of a European artist attempting to imitate the Ottoman style. Hals Gillisz Boulenger’s Flower Piece, 1644.  It depicts, at the top, an expensive tulip.  During the 17th c. Tulip Mania took the Netherlands by storm as tulips were introduced from the Ottoman Empire.  A tulip bulb would cost an insane amount.
When this project was started, it was with the idea of focusing on Cabinets of Curiosities that developed through interactions between Europeans and Italy.  This type of focus leads to the illusion that there was no interaction between Europe and eastern countries, such as the Ottoman Empire, or across the Atlantic in the Americas.  The concern of Eurocentrism arose and so this must be addressed, even if briefly. During the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries, the Ottoman Empire was a massive, sprawling powerhouse of an empire that spanned from the northern point of Budapest down to the Persian Gulf, through Egypt, and over to Algiers.  The Ottoman Empire’s official religion was Islam and, unlike the hostile Holy Roman Empire, their population could practice whatever religion they chose, they would simply be taxed more.  The Ottoman Empire interacted with European countries and, through their interactions, we can see examples of trade, such as coffee, and Orientalism. Orientalism is a term that could be discussed at length but, as a basic definition, it refers to the depiction and/or imitation of cultures from East and South Asia, and Middle Eastern countries.  Usually found in artwork and material goods, it helped to create a sense of exoticism and otherness when Europeans regarded the East.  Wealthy patrons of the art would often commission works showing themselves in Europeanised versions of traditional outfits from Eastern countries and artists would adopt aspects of Eastern art into their own works.  The paintings and costume books often showed those of Eastern countries as barbaric and lacking technology, therefore Orientalism also served as a way for Europeans to try to show themselves as more sophisticated, worldly, and powerful than their Eastern counterparts. It could be argued that Cabinets of Curiosity are European’s way of imposing their hold over the world around them, much like they did with Orientalism.  One collects and owns, giving a sense of superiority, therefore they must be better and more powerful.  It takes a certain level of scholarly knowledge to collect a successful Cabinet, so by knowing what to collect they showcase their level of knowledge.  When reading European travel narratives, there are many references to collecting items from Eastern lands, some collections specialized in purely Chinese objects.  Despite the lack of Ottoman Cabinets of Curiosity, one can be assured that they did collect objects. There was also communication with and cabinets constructed with objects from the Americas.  A book by Surekha Davies is, as of this website’s publication in December 2017, in the works that will focus on the Cabinets of Curiosity with collected objects from the Indigenous peoples of modern day Canada, the Unites States of America, and Mexico. ___________________________________________ Further Readings Berardi, Luca. “The Sixteenth-Century Muhit Atlası: From a Venetian Globe to an Ottoman Atlas?” Imago Mundi 69, no. 1 (January 2, 2017): 37–51. https://doi.org/10.1080/03085694.2017.1242839. Fetvaci, Emine. Picturing History at the Ottoman Court. Indiana University Press, 2013. Goffman, Daniel.  The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Goodrich, Thomas D. Tarih-i Hind-i Garbi: The Ottoman Turks and the New World: A Study of Tarih-i Hind-i Garbi and Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Americana. Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz, 1990. Hagen, Gottfried. “Ottoman Understandings of the World in the Seventeenth Century.” In An Ottoman Mentality: The World of Evliya Çelebi, edited by Robert Dankoff, 215–56. The Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage: Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2004. Inal, Onur. "Women’s Fashions in Transition: Ottoman Borderlands and the Anglo-Ottoman Exchange of Costumes," Journal of World History, 22, no. 2 (June 2011): 243-72. Sardar, Marika. “The Art of the Ottomans after 1600.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 2002. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/otto_2/hd_otto_2.h tm Shaw, Wendy. "Museums and Narratives of Display from the Late Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic." Muqarnas 24 (2007): 253-79. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25482463. Tezcan, Baki and Gottfried Hagen, eds. Other Places: Ottomans traveling, seeing, writing, drawing the world -- Essays in honor of Thomas D. Goodrich (A special double issue [39-40] of the Journal of Ottoman Studies / Osmanlı Araştırmaları. Istanbul: Isam, 2012. https://www.academia.edu/33924628/Other_Places_Ott omans_traveling_seeing_writing_drawing_the_world_- - _Essays_in_honor_of_Thomas_D._Goodrich_A_specia l_double_issue_39- 40_of_the_Journal_of_Ottoman_Studies_Osmanl%C4 %B1_Ara%C5%9Ft%C4%B1rmalar%C4%B1_