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Late-Ottoman Syrian interiors and furnishings

The DDFIA collection of late-Ottoman Syrian art and architecture includes two interiors—the Damascus Room and the Syrian Room—as well as associated furnishings and architectural elements displayed elsewhere. The two interiors contain eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century architectural elements in wood, stone and glass that would have originally decorated reception rooms of elite courtyard homes in cities such as Damascus. When the rooms were created, Syria was ruled by the Ottoman Empire (in Syria: 1516–1918), hence the designation “late-Ottoman Syrian.”

Introduction

Introduction

Damascus is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. During Roman times, it was enclosed by a series of walls and gates (bab), and shortly after the Muslim conquest in 635–6, it became the capital city of the Umayyad dynasty (661–750).

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Damascus Room

Damascus Room

The Damascus Room’s four walls and ceiling are comprised of predominantly eighteenth-century wood ‘ajami paneling of the type common to late-Ottoman Syrian interiors.

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Syrian Room

Syrian Room

Two decades after acquiring and installing the Damascus Room at Shangri La, Doris Duke (1912–93) set her sights on a second late-Ottoman Syrian interior.

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Additional late-Ottoman Syrian materials

Additional late-Ottoman Syrian materials

Although the Syrian Room and Damascus Room preserve the majority of the DDFIA’s late-Ottoman Syrian collection, additional architectural decoration and furnishings can be found elsewhere at Shangri La, both on view and in storage.

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