August 2022 Item of the Month
The Ilhamy School of Fine Arts, Egypt
This school was established by Emina Hanim Ilhamy (1858-1931) and named in memory of her father Ilhamy Pasha (1836-1860), son of `Abbas Hilmi I of Egypt (1812-1854). The school trained craftsmen who then worked on the construction of the Rifai Mosque and the mausoleum of Khedive Tewfik (1852-1892), Emina Hanim’s late husband. The school had its own shop which sold its products in order to offset its expenses. The school was later merged with the King Fouad I University (now Cairo University). Photographs in this album alternate between exterior views of the School and its shop, and then interior views of the shop and presentations of particular school products or assemblages of products, akin to a sales brochure. The School clearly aimed at reviving an Egyptian style and tradition, but its legacy is not as well researched as its contemporary the Egyptian School of Fine Arts founded in 1908 by Prince Yusuf Kamal (1882-1967).
The photograph album is one of many in the archive of Abbas Hilmi II which is deposited by its owner the Mohamed Ali Foundation with Durham University Library and Collections. Albums cover many subjects, from public infrastructure projects such as railways and dams, to pilgrimages, from palaces to horse studs. Most of these albums have now been digitalised and are made available online.
This Item of the Month feature and its archive will be moving to the Library and Collections blog page in September. Look out for the new link in next month's feature on this page.