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Mehmet Cemil Cem

  • Given name:
    Mehmet Cemil
  • Last name:
    Cem
  • Alternative names:

    Cemil Cem

  • Date of Birth:
    1882
  • Place of Birth:
    Istanbul (TR)
  • Date of Death:
    09-04-1950
  • Place of Death:
    Istanbul (TR)
  • Profession:
    CaricaturistDiplomat
  • Introduction:

    Cemil Cem is remembered as a cartoonist, although he also managed the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul for four years. While director of the academy, he supported Russian-speaking artists.

    Word Count: 30

  • Signature Image:
    Cemil Cem (Turgut Çeviker Archive, Turkey).
  • Content:

    Today, Cemil Cem is remembered as a cartoonist, although he also managed the School/Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul for four years. An additional little-known fact is that, while director of the school, he supported Russian-speaking émigré artists.

    After studying law in Istanbul, Cemil Cem worked in a number of Ottoman consulates and embassies in Europe, including in Paris and Vienna. As a person interested in art, he met and communicated with various artists in these cities and also created some caricatures himself. At first, he occasionally sent his work to the Ottoman magazine Kalem but, after a couple of years, decided to quit his diplomatic career and take up the profession of cartoonist in Istanbul. There, he began publishing his own magazine, Cem, in which he was not afraid to satirise famous political figures and the social follies of his day. Two years later, in 1912, the magazine was shut down and its owner left, first for Izmir, and then for Europe. He later returned to Istanbul and from 1921 to 1925 was director of the School of Fine Arts (Fine Arts Academy) in the city. It was during this period, in 1923, that he provided assistance to the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople. Unfortunately, it is not known how exactly this assistance was expressed, but the fact that Cemil Cem was elected an honorary member of the union speaks volumes. During the entire existence of the union, only a few such members were ever elected, all of them individuals who provided support of various kinds to Russian artists, including assistance with organising exhibitions. We have every reason to believe that Cemil Cem helped organise the final exhibition of the union, which was held in a YMCA building in Istanbul in 1923.
    In 1927, Cemil Cem resumed publication of Cem magazine, whose last issue appeared in 1929. According to Yasin Kayış, the final closure of the magazine was not because of censorship, but because Cemil Cem, who used to draw “Ottoman characters in fez”, simply failed to maintain his popularity in the new Turkish Republic. Thus, it is to the cartoons he created during the Second Constitutional Monarchy, rather than those of the Republican period, that he owes his status as “Father of the Turkish Caricature” (Kayış 2018). The last years of his life were mainly spent drawing and engaging in agriculture. He died on 9 April, 1950, at his home in the Moda district, in the street that bears his name and where his cartoons can be seen today. After his death, he was buried in the Istanbul graveyard of Rumeli Hısarı where Leonore and Curt Kosswig’s graves are located.

    Word Count: 436

  • Media:
    Cemil Cem (Turgut Çeviker Archive, Turkey).
    Mehmet Cemil Cem (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2021).
    Caricature by Cemil Cem from Cem, 18 November 1910 (Turgut Çeviker Archive, Turkey).
    Cem Street, Istanbul (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2021).
    One of the caricatures by Mehmet Cemil Cem (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2021).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Anonymous. “V Soyuze Russkih Hudojnikov.” Presse du Soir, 3 January 1923, n.p.

    Anonymous. “Cem magazine and Cemil Cem as an opponent carricaturist.” Koç Üniversitesi Digital Collections, https://librarydigitalcollections.ku.edu.tr/en/digital-exhibitions/cem-magazine-and-cemil-cem-as-an-opponent-carricaturist/. Accessed 21 December 2020.

    Coşgun, Kürşat. “Cemil Cem.” karikaturculerdernegi.com, https://www.karikaturculerdernegi.com/onculerimiz/cemil-cem/. Accessed 21 December 2020.

    Kayış, Yasin. “Cumhuriyet Döneminde Cemil Cem ve Cem Mizah Dergisi.” Çağdaş Türkiye Tarihi Araştırmaları Dergisi, no. 36, Spring 2018, pp. 89–105.

    Koloğlu, Orhan. Türkiye Karikatür Tarihi. Bileşim Yayınları, 2005.

    Word Count: 87

  • Acknowledgements:

    My deepest thanks go to Turgut Çeviker.

    Word Count: 7

  • Author:
    Ekaterina Aygün
  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Cem Sokak 6, Caferağa, Kadıköy, İstanbul (residence and studio).

  • Metropolis:
    Istanbul
  • Ekaterina Aygün. "Mehmet Cemil Cem." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2949/object/5138-10703442, last modified: 14-09-2021.
  • Leonore Kosswig
    BiologistPhotographerEthnographer

    The exiled biologist and photographer Leonore Kosswig was one of the pioneering women researchers travelling alone in the 1950s and exploring customs and ways of life in Turkey and Iraq.

    Word Count: 30

    Cafer Türkmen, Leonore and Curt Kosswig in Birecik, 1954, photography, detail (Private Archive).
    Cafer Türkmen, Leonore and Curt Kosswig in Birecik, 1954, photography (Private Archive).Curt and/or Leonore Kosswig, House of Family Kosswig in Bebek, Istanbul, 1940s (Private Archive). The Kosswig house is pictured at the back, left of centre.Leonore Kosswig, House of Family Kosswig in Bebek (Haus am Berg), Istanbul, Spring 1957 (Private Archive).Curt and/or Leonore Kosswig, House of Family Kosswig in Bebek, Istanbul, interior, 1940 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig, Sütçü Ibrahim [Milkman Ibrahim], Bebek, Istanbul, 1956 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig, Way to Balık Pazar [Fish Market], Istanbul, March 1957 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig, Behind Mısır Çarşı [Egypt Market], Istanbul, March 1957 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig, At the old bridge near Eminönü, Istanbul, March 1957 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig, Çeşme [Fountain], Istanbul, 1957 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig, Gemiç, 1957, colour slide (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig, Near Faluja, Irak, 1958, colour slide (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig, In the Tent, after 1955, colour slide (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig. “Hochzeitsgebräuche in Anatolien.” [Wedding customs in Anatolia]. Oriens, vol. 13–14, 1961, pp. 248–249 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig. “Über Brettchenweberei insbesondere in Anatolien.“ [About board weaving especially in Anatolia]. Baessler-Archiv, vol. 15, 1967, pp. 98–99 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig. “Über Brettchenweberei insbesondere in Anatolien.” [About board weaving especially in Anatolia]. Baessler-Archiv, vol. 15, 1967, pp. 100–101 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig. “Über Brettchenweberei insbesondere in Anatolien.” [About board weaving especially in Anatolia]. Baessler-Archiv, vol. 15, 1967, pp. 104–105 (Private Archive).Leonore Kosswig, Couple in Üçpınar, Kayseri, c. 1967, colour slide (Private Archive). From a series of photographs for the Leonore Kosswig’s essay “Über Brettchenweberei insbesondere in Anatolien” Baessler-Archiv, vol. 15, 1967.Board weaving with Kıvrım pattern, 1961 purchased by Leonore Kosswig in Çığdık next to Adana (Private Archive, Photo: Jana Weber).Curt Kosswig. In memoriam Leonore Kosswig. Leonore Kosswig’i anarken. Baha Matbaası, 1974 (Private Archive). Published, along with her travelogues, after Leonore Kosswig's death.
    Istanbul
    Arkitekt
    Magazine

    The architecture magazine Arkitekt was an important platform for emigrated architects and urban planners such as Bruno Taut, Martin Wagner, Wilhelm Schütte, Ernst Reuter and Gustav Oelsner.

    Word Count: 28

    Arkitekt, no. 9, 1936, cover (Photo: Archive Burcu Dogramaci).
    Arkitekt, no. 1–2, 1939, cover (Photo: Archive Burcu Dogramaci).Arkitekt, no. 10–11, 1936, cover. Issue with the essay “Istanbul havalisinin plânı” by Martin Wagner ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Martin Wagner. “Istanbul havalisinin plânı.” Arkitekt, no. 10–11, 1936, p. 301 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Arkitekt, no. 7, 1938, cover. Issue featuring the essay “Proporsyon” by Bruno Taut ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Bruno Taut. “Proporsiyon.” Translation Adnan Kolatan. Arkitekt, no. 7, 1938, p. 194 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Arkitekt, no. 3–4, 1941, cover. Issue featuring Wilhelm Schütte’s essay “Sefalet Mahalleleri” ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Wilhelm Schütte. “Sefalet Mahalleleri.” [Neighbourhoods of Misery] Translation Adnan Kolatan. Arkitekt, no. 3–4, 1941, p. 78 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Arkitekt, no. 5–6, 1943, cover. Issue with Ernst Reuter’s essay “Kasabalarimiz“ and Wilhelm Schütte’s contribution “Karl Friedrich Schinkel” ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Ernst Reuter. “Kasabalarimiz.“ [Our villages] Translation Adnan Kolatan. Arkitekt, no. 5–6, 1943, p. 121 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Gustav Oelsner. “Şehircilikte Abidevlik.” [Monuments in City planning] Translation Halet Çambel. Arkitekt, no. 11–12, 1945, p. 265.
    Istanbul
    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople
    Association

    The Union existed for less than two years but in that short space of time a tremendous amount of work was done by its members, refugees from the Russian Empire.

    Word Count: 30

    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople logo from 1922 membership card of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople (Private Archive of Dimitri Ismailovitch that belongs to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti).
    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).1922 membership card of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople (Private Archive of Dimitri Ismailovitch that belongs to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti).Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople logo painted by T. Sabaneeff, 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 1 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).One of the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 10 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Exhibition of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 6 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul