'Who are these Arabs?' : constructing an idea of the "true Arab" in Eric Kennington's portrait series for Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Black, Jonathan (2016) 'Who are these Arabs?' : constructing an idea of the "true Arab" in Eric Kennington's portrait series for Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom. In: Borders and Beyond in the Middle East Since 1914 : Legacies, Changes, Continuities; 17 - 18 Jun 2016, York, U.K.. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this 30 minute paper I explored constructing an image of the 'True Desert Arab' i.e the nomadic Bedouin in a series of pastel drawings Eric Kennington produced in 1921 in: Palestine, Syria and Jordan. I also included a portrait of an Arab sitter he produced later in London (1923). These were all commissioned by the celebrated British archaeologist, Arabist and soldier T.E. Lawrence for the subscribers luxury illustrated edition of his 1926 memoir 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' (published in December 1926). I was particularly interested in exploring the political context as Kennington drew his Arab subjects and the status of the Arab in European eyes as control of the Middle East was divided between Britain and France as an entire knew countries emerged within the protective embrace of the British Empire such as the Kingdoms of Jordan and Iraq. I also discussed what happened to the original drawings after many were sold at exhibition in 1927: who bought them and what use was made of them thereafter?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Title: Borders and Beyond in the Middle East Since 1914 : Legacies, Changes, Continuities
Organising Body: University of York Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past and York St. John University
Research Area: Art and design
Communication, cultural and media studies
History
History of art, architecture and design
Middle Eastern and African studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture > School of Art & Design History
Depositing User: Jonathan Black
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2016 16:16
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2016 16:21
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/36574

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