Şule Gazioğlu Art & Design is hosting a very special exhibition. ‘Sébah & Joaillier: Eye of the Bosphorus’ brings together the photographs from the family archive that the collector Fabrizio Casaretto, the 5th generation representative of the Joaillier family, has gathered together for more than 15 years. With the exhibition, which can be visited between April 28 and June 18, 2023, visitors have the opportunity to reach the historical roots of the Bosphorus in the 19th century, as well as to see the archive of the most important photography studio of the Ottoman Empire for the first time.
To draw attention to the culture of the Bosphorus, the exhibition Sébah & Joaillier: The Eye of the Bosphorus traces the historical roots of the Bosphorus’s cult status in the 19th century. In addition to focusing on the Bosphorus, this exhibition is also the first to focus on the photographic archive of the most important photography studio of the Ottoman Empire.
In addition to a selection of photographs from the family archive that the collector Fabrizio Casaretto, the 5th generation representative of the Joaillier family, has gathered together for more than 15 years, the exhibition will also feature materials from the 19th century, such as images and documents, cameras and stereoscopes. It’s like being taken on a journey through time.
Sébah & Joaillier is one of the first photography studios of the Ottoman Empire, which was perhaps the first to notice the cult status of Bosphorus life and to understand the importance of recording it. The first special exhibition, which will bring together the archive of Sébah & Joaillier, perhaps the most important brand in the history of Ottoman photography, will meet with visitors for 2 months between April 28 and June 18, 2023, with a Bosphorus themed selection.
Although it was founded as a studio photography, one of the goals of Sébah & Joaillier, who also does outdoor photography, was to show the unknown of the Ottoman Empire to the outside world. In this sense, it is accepted that the studio that spread orientalism to the world was Sébah & Joaillier, and that the duo were perhaps the ‘pioneers of orientalism’. According to the documents in the collector Fabrizio Casaretto, the studio with the best commercial relations with abroad was Sébah & Joaillier, and in this respect, it was one of the doors of the Ottoman Empire. The main purpose of the studio was to sell photographs abroad, to dominate this important income-generating commercial area. In those years, photography was only a profession for high-income families. Today, it is still possible to find photographs of Sébah & Joaillier all over the world; It has been documented that they also gave a lot of photos to popular editors such as Max Fruchterman. Sébah & Joaillier are considered to be very good and competent photographers who framed interior and exterior spaces in Ottoman cities such as Istanbul, Bursa and Izmir.
One of the prominent themes in Fabrizio Casaretto’s family archive consisting of hundreds of photographs is undoubtedly the Bosphorus. It seems that the Bosphorus has a special importance for Sébah & Joaillier, there are dozens of squares from the Tarabya district alone. Polycarpe Joaillier, who forms a branch of the duo, almost maintains the esteemed stance given by the family profession (Joaillier means jeweler in French) in the previous years, by framing the Bosphorus, which is considered the jewel of Istanbul.
In the light of recent events, this exhibition is being brought to life in order to bring this iconic but fragile and unique Bosphorus heritage to the agenda just like in Venice, and to give one of the most important institutions of the Ottoman Empire the attention it deserves. In order to deliver its value and witness this delicate heritage, Şule Gazioğlu Art Design is waiting for all Bosphorus lovers to its gallery in Emirgan with its new exhibition.