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Lot 70•W
The Library of the late Professor Godfrey Goodwin (1921-2005)
Sold for £12,000 (US$ 18,818) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Library of the late Professor Godfrey Goodwin (1921-2005)
comprising approximately 600 reference books on Islamic and Indian art, as well as European art and architecture, and a quantity of research documents and notes

Footnotes

  • Godfrey Goodwin wrote many scholarly books about the culture of Ottoman Turkey. His book A History of Ottoman Architecture, published in 1971 and now in its fourth edition, was the first comprehensive study of the subject and remains the definitive reference work. Goodwin was born to British parents in 1921 in Lisbon, where his father, an engineer, was involved in developing the tram system.

    He was educated in Britain; from Clifton College, in Bristol, an interest in stage design led to the theatre. He studied at RADA and served as secretary of the Stage Society. When it closed, in 1939, he joined the Army. After training in Reading and Manchester, he was posted to North Africa, arriving in Algiers in 1942. In due course he took part in the Allied push into Italy and was in Rome when the war ended. It was there that his lifelong love affair with the Mediterranean world began.

    Teaching jobs took him to Winchester, London, Alexandria and eventually Istanbul. It was in Bursa, on his first visit to Turkey in 1952, that he decided 'to explore every nook and cranny of Ottoman architecture and also the people who lived here over many centuries'. This began in earnest in 1957 when he taught in Istanbul at the English High School for Boys and later at Robert College, the precursor of Bogaziçi (Bosporus) University.

    An academic career might then have seemed Goodwin's natural destination. His work did earn him official recognition and a PhD, but only 30 years later. He chose to stay in teaching.

    The Goodwins' house in Primrose Hill, London, radiated Turkish warmth and generosity, and evenings there were memorable affairs. With his wife Gillian, a superb hostess and an authority on cookery in her own right, the house was often filled, sometimes from basement to first floor, with artists, architects, art dealers and historians, students and figures from unexpected backgrounds, and it had a magical atmosphere.

    In retirement he was approached by Macmillan to act as a commissioning editor for the Dictionary of Art. The job did not last long but it allowed him finally to start pulling together the loose strands of his various interests.

    Goodwin then worked as a librarian for the Royal Asiatic Society, and during this time found the calm to concentrate again on his field of expertise. He wrote scholarly articles, edited Ottaviano Bon's The Sultan's Seraglio (1996), and published Islamic Spain (1990), Sinan: Ottoman Architecture and its Values Today (1993), The Private World of Ottoman Women (1997), The Janissaries (1997), Topkapi Palace: an Illustrated Guide to its Life and Personalities (1999), and his memoir, Life's Episodes (2002).

    In his seventies Goodwin returned to Istanbul and held summer courses at Bogaziçi University, teaching Ottoman architecture; these continued almost to his death. He took great satisfaction from the interest of his loyal students, whom he took on excursions in the fierce heat of the Turkish summer.
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