Header Image

Anke Scharrahs

February 3 - February 21, 2014

Project Title: Quwatli house elements at Shangri La: Their significance and how they compare to elements found in other Damascene homes.  

Project Abstract: Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Preserved in the Old City of Damascus are approximately three to four thousand historic private houses of the late 17th through 19th centuries, ranging from small and simple residences to large opulent mansions. The interior spaces of these private houses were adorned with sophisticated decoration including opus sectile, tinted plaster, polychrome stone reliefs, murals, mother-of-pearl inlays, tiles, polychrome wooden paneling and ceilings, mirrors, stained glass and gypsum windows, and textiles. Research, investigation and identification will be conducted on the Quwatli house elements found in the Syrian interiors at Shangri La and comparisons will be made between these and elements found in six other significant Damascene homes. In addition, the former contexts, functions, dates, techniques, and states of preservation of Shangri La’s Quwatli house elements will be examined.

Dr. Anke Scharrahs is a conservator specializing in polychrome wooden surfaces with a special interest in Islamic art. She has a Ph.D from the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, Germany and she has been engaged in research and conservation of Syrian-Ottoman interiors for 15 years, both in museum collections and in historic houses in Germany, New York, and Damascus. She is the author of the book Damascene Ajami Interiors: Forgotten Jewels of Interior Design published in 2013.

See Anke's Lecture 

Past event: 2013 Lecture

See Anke's Working Paper


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