Hospitality was — and still is — highly valued in the Middle East. Private homes in seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Syria contained rooms specifically designed and decorated to receive guests. These rooms were the most lavishly decorated spaces in the house, something very much in evidence with the panels of the Damascus Room in the Diwan restaurant at the Aga Khan Museum.
Syrian Living: Medieval to Modern, authored by Aga Khan Museum curator Filiz Çakır Phillip and conservator Anke Scharrahs, casts an illuminating spotlight on various aspects of the interior decoration of the historic houses in Damascus. Due to the fact that a significant number of the painted wooden interiors from Syria present in Western collections originate from Damascus, most of these rooms have been named after this city.
Among the focuses of the book are the wall panels, closets, decorative niches, and ceilings fashioned from elaborately painted and gilded wood as well as decorative features made from stone mosaic and glazed tiles.
Lavishly illustrated in full colour, Syrian Living provides a thorough investigation of the Aga Khan Museum’s own Damascus Room and other Syrian artworks of the Museum’s collection.
Dimensions: 9.5 inches (width) by 11 inches (height).