Friday, September 18, 2015

Artifacts of Dervish Culture Come to Washington This September

From our friends at the New East Foundation...

A Window into the Mystical World of Dervishes Will Be on Exhibit from September 21st Through October 21st

The New East Foundation (NEF), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Turkish arts and culture abroad, will bring the exhibition “Dervishes and Their Belongings” - a vast collection of antique objects used by dervish convents - to the United States in September 2015.

The exhibit features 300 historical artifacts reviving the daily life in dervish convents. Among the rare pieces are elaborate calligraphic artworks, talismans, wands, convent genealogies, beggar’s bowls and traditional musical instruments. The one-of-a-kind collection will introduce the convent aesthetics from the past century to American audiences.

“This exhibit provides an intimate journey through the fascinating life of Dervishes, while re-introducing the stunning aesthetics of Turkish Sufi Tradition never seen before in the U.S.,” said Anna Caridi, Italian architect and curator of the exhibit. “All convent objects reflect a refined and modest understanding of beauty and artistry.”

In addition to the historical objects, the exhibit includes contemporary artworks that re-interpret dervishes’ philosophy of beauty with a modern art perspective. Turkish painter Zeynep Çilek’s seven contemporary art pieces inspired by convent drawing models will bridge the modern with the mystical world of dervishes.

“The real essence of Muslim culture embraces peace and a great tradition of arts in its core,” said the host of the exhibition, NEF President Atılgan Bayar. “Turkish Sufi tradition and dervish culture are fine examples of how this essence plays a central role in Muslim civilization.”

The “Dervishes and Their Belongings” Exhibition will be on display starting on Monday, September 21 with an opening reception at the newly-opened Turkish American Community Center (TACC), and will run through October 21, 2015.

Visiting Hours: Monday - Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

Location: Turkish American Cultural Center (TACC), 9704 Good Luck Road, Lanham, MD 20706; (301) 459-9589

New East Foundation (NEF) was established in Istanbul in 2013 by political strategist Atılgan Bayar. Among the members of NEF’s board of directors are chief advisors, intellectuals and businessmen. NEF provides scholarships to academicians at the doctoral level and higher, who study the foundations of western cultures. NEF also works on projects devoted to the interaction between eastern and western civilizations. The foundation, which opened its Rome office last year, is planning to launch its Washington office next year. For more information, please visit