NEH banner [Return to Query]

Products for grant FEL-257596-18

FEL-257596-18
Tree of Pearls: The Extraordinary Architectural Patronage of the 13th-Century Egyptian Slave-Queen Shajar al-Durr
D. Fairchild Ruggles, Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

Grant details: https://apps.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FEL-257596-18

Tree of Pearls (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Tree of Pearls
Abstract: Shajar al-Durr, who ruled Egypt in the summer of 1250, was extraordinary. She rose to power from obscure origins and became the legitimate sultan. Her architectural patronage of two building ensembles combined the civic function of education with the commemorative function of a memorial.
Author: D. Fairchild Ruggles
Date: 09/26/18
Location: Center for Advanced Study , University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Tree of Pearls: The Extraordinary Architectural Patronage of Egypt’s 13th-Century Slave-Sultan (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Tree of Pearls: The Extraordinary Architectural Patronage of Egypt’s 13th-Century Slave-Sultan
Abstract: “Tree of Pearls” was a slave from the Central Asian steppe who became the beloved concubine of the Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt in the mid-13th century. Through that relationship, she rose from slavery to become regent and then the appointed sultan of Egypt for three key months in the summer of 1250. This is the story of how she got there, and how she commissioned innovative works of art and architecture that charted a new course for Cairo.
Author: D. Fairchild Ruggles
Date: 04/04/19
Location: Emory University, Department of Art History

donation of digital photographs of Cairo (Acquisitions/Materials Collection)
Name: donation of digital photographs of Cairo
Abstract: A collection of digital photographs of the Tomb of Shajar al-Durr and Tomb of the Abbasid Caliphs, donated to the Aga Khan Program's archnet archive at MIT..
Director: D. Fairchild Ruggles (photographer)
Year: 2019
Address: Aga Khan Documentation Center MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 77 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE CAMBRIDGE MA 02139
Primary URL: http://archnet.org

Nafisa, al-Sayyida (Article)
Title: Nafisa, al-Sayyida
Author: D. Fairchild Ruggles
Abstract: Al-Sayyida Nafisa (d. 208/ 824), a direct descendent of the Prophet, was a pious and learned woman who became venerated in Cairo as one its most celebrated saints. Her mausoleum in Cairo’s Southern Cemetery was rebuilt many times between the 3rd/9th and 19th centuries, gradually developing into a mashhad. It is today a very popular shrine, although no original fabric survives in situ.
Year: 2019
Access Model: subscription
Format: Other
Periodical Title: Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3rd edition
Publisher: Brill

Tree of Pearls: The Extraordinary Architectural Patronage of the 13th-Century Egyptian Slave-Queen Shajar al-Durr (Book)
Title: Tree of Pearls: The Extraordinary Architectural Patronage of the 13th-Century Egyptian Slave-Queen Shajar al-Durr
Author: D. Fairchild Ruggles
Abstract: Book prize: Nancy Lapp Popular Book Award from the American Schools of Oriental Research, 2020
Abstract: The woman known as “Tree of Pearls” ruled Egypt in the summer of 1250. A rare case of a woman sultan, her reign marked the shift from the Ayyubid to the Mamluk dynasty, and her architectural patronage of two building complexes had a lasting impact on Cairo and on Islamic architecture. Rising to power from slave origins, Tree of Pearls—her name in Arabic is Shajar al-Durr—used her wealth and power to add a tomb to the urban madrasa (college) that had been built by her husband, Sultan Salih, and with this innovation, madrasas and many other charitably endowed architectural complexes became commemorative monuments, a practice that remains widespread today. This was the first occasion in Cairo in which a secular patron’s relationship to his architectural foundation was reified through the actual presence of his body. The tomb thus profoundly transformed the relationship between architecture and its patron, emphasizing and emblematizing his historical presence. Indeed, the characteristic domed skyline of Cairo that we see today is shaped by such domes that have kept the memory of their named patrons visible to the public eye. This dramatic transformation, in which architecture came to embody human identity, was made possible by the sultan-queen Shajar al-Durr, a woman who began her career as a mere slave-concubine. Her path-breaking patronage contradicts the prevailing assumption among historians of Islam that there was no distinctive female voice in art and architecture.
Year: 2020
Primary URL Description: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780190873202
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes

Lecture on "Women in Islamic Art: Shajar al-Durr" (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Lecture on "Women in Islamic Art: Shajar al-Durr"
Abstract: A lecture delivered to the graduate seminar of Professor Mika Natif at Georgetown University.
Author: D. F. Ruggles
Date: 02/04/2020
Location: Georgetown University, Department of Art History


Permalink: https://apps.neh.gov/publicquery/products.aspx?gn=FEL-257596-18