| Gülru Necipoğlu

Gülru Necipoğlu


Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art, Director of the Aga Khan Program of Islamic Architecture at Harvard, History of Art and Architecture Department


Harvard University


Gülru Necipoğlu has been Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art at Harvard University since 1993 where she earned her Ph.D in 1986. Professor Necipoğlu is the author of Architecture, Ceremonial Power: The Topkapi Palace (1991); The Topkapi Scroll, Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture (1995); and The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire (2005). She is also the editor of Muqarnas: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture and Supplements to Muqarnas. Her Topkapi Scroll won the Albert Hourani Book Award and the Spiro Kostoff Book Award. The Age of Sinan has been awarded the Fuat Koprulu Prize. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Palladio Center for Study of Architecture in Vicenza. Professor Necipoğlu's articles include interpretations of various aspects of Ottoman visual culture, comparative studies on early modern Islamic art and architecture (particularly Safavid, Mughal, Ottoman), and deal with cross-cultural artistic exchanges between Byzantium, Renaissance Italy, and the Islamic lands. Her publications also address questions of premodern architectural practice, plans and drawings, the aesthetics of abstract ornament and geometric design. Her critical interests encompass methodological and historiographical issues in modern constructions of the field of Islamic art.

Selected Publications

The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire. Princeton [New Jersey]: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Architecture, Ceremonial, and Power: The Topkapi Palace in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. New York, N.Y: Architectural History Foundation, 1991.

"Framing the Gaze in Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Palaces," Ars Orientalis, Vol. 23, Pre-Modern Islamic Palaces (1993), pp. 303-342.

"From International Timurid to Ottoman: A Change of Taste in Sixteenth-Century Ceramic Tiles," in Muqarnas VII: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture. Oleg Grabar (ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990.

"Geometric Design in Timurid/Turkmen Architectural Practice: Thoughts on a Recently Discovered Scroll and Its Late Gothic Parallels,"  in Timurid Art and Culture: Iran and Central Asia in the Fifteenth Century. Lisa Golombek and Maria Subtelny (ed.s). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992.

Editor, Muqarnas Volume XI: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994.

Editor. Muqarnas Volume XII: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1995.

Editor. Muqarnas Volume XIII: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World. Gülru Necipoglu (ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1996.


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