Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art; Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
Department of Art and Architecture, Harvard University
Gülru Necipoğlu-Kafadar earned her PhD at Harvard University in 1986.She specializes in the architectural and urban history of the medieval and early modern periods, with a particular focus on the Ottoman Empire, the Mediterranean basin, and the Eastern Islamic lands. Her critical interests encompass methodological and historiographical issues in modern constructions of the field of Islamic art. She is the editor of Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World and Supplements to Muqarnas. Her books include Architecture, Ceremonial Power: The Topkapi Palace (1991); The Topkapi Scroll, Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture (1995); and The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire (2005). Her Topkapi Scroll won the Albert Hourani and the Spiro Kostoff book awards. The Age of Sinan has been awarded the Fuat Köprülü Book Prize. She is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Centro Internazionale di Studi di.
Her articles include interpretations of monuments such as the Dome of the Rock, Suleymaniye Mosque and Topkapi Palace; Ottoman visual culture; comparative studies on the three early modern Islamic empires (Safavid, Mughal, Ottoman); and artistic exchanges between Byzantium, Renaissance Italy, and the Islamic lands. Her publications also address questions of pre-modern architectural practice, plans and drawings, the aesthetics of abstract ornament and geometric design. Gülru Necipoğlu has been Aga Khan Professor and Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Harvard University Department of History of Art and Architecture since 1993.