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Commissions and Recreations, 1935-1938

One of the most intriguing and unparalleled components of the DDFIA collection is its corpus of large-scale architectural features custom-made for Shangri La in the 1930s by workshops in India, Morocco and Iran. These commissions position Doris Duke (1912–93) not just as a collector of historical Islamic art but also as a patron of “living” traditions of craftsmanship from throughout the Islamic world.

Introduction

Introduction

All of the Shangri La commissions were inspired by Duke and her husband James Cromwell’s extensive travels in the Middle East and South Asia between 1935 and 1938.

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India, 1935

India, 1935

Doris Duke’s earliest travels to the Islamic world can be traced to her 1935–36 around-the-world honeymoon tour with her husband James Cromwell. In addition to quick visits to Egypt and Jordan, the honeymoon included approximately two months in India.

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Morocco, 1937

Morocco, 1937

Following their honeymoon tour of 1935 the Cromwells’ next major travel adventure was a two-month tour of Europe from May to July 1937 which included a week in the French protectorate of Morocco.

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Iran, 1938

Iran, 1938

In March and April of 1938, the Cromwells traveled to Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and select European cities. They spent the longest period of time—March 19 through April 14—in Iran.

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