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Dinos Kogias, “Souvenir of Kütahya: Imprints of History on Kütahya Pottery (late 19th-early 20th century)”
The decorative repertoire of the pottery produced in Kütahya, a town in western Turkey and a major ceramic center in Ottoman times, has been influenced by events of modern history, such as the Balkan Wars, the Ottoman Constitution of 1908, and the Greek-Turkish War (1919-1922). Τhe purpose of this lecture is to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of Kütahya pottery from the end of the nineteenth century through the first decades of the twentieth while presenting certain little-known aspects of this production, particularly during the fifteen-month period of the town’s occupation by the Greek armed forces from July 1921 to August 1922. During this period, the production of pottery, which had been interrupted because of the war, resumed and a large number of items ended up in Greece, mainly brought back by Greek soldiers. Many of these ceramics bear Greek commemorative inscriptions, as ‘souvenirs of Kütahya,’ with the initials or even full names of their first owners, and accordingly serve as important historical evidence of specific social and cultural referents.
Dinos Kogias was born in 1964 in Karlovasi, Samos. He lives and works as a lawyer in Athens. He collects, researches and writes about modern Greek, Ottoman and Balkan ceramics. He is a founding member of DIKTIO, a Southeast European ceramics research group, and regularly participates in related international symposia. He has published two books on his home island of Samos [Samos 1862- 1920: Photos and Postcards and The tram at Karlovasi, Samos (1905-1939)] and one on the pottery of Kütahya, published by the Benaki Museum: SOUVENIR OF KÜTAHYA: Imprints of History on Kütahya’s Pottery (late 19th – early 20th century). Another study of Samian pottery of the 19th and 20th centuries is forthcoming.