His photographs represent a unique account on the cities and their medieval monuments. Creswell was born and educated in London. This gave him the opportunity to travel and document sites along the way. Returning to Egypt in , he decided to settle there and began a life-long mission to photograph, catalogue and study the Islamic architecture of Egypt and much of the Middle East.
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Early life[ edit ] Creswell was born on 13 September in London. He was educated at Westminster School before going on to study electrical engineering at Finsbury City and Guilds Technical College in During this time he developed his considerable skills in draughtsmanship. Creswell was interested in eastern buildings and places from childhood.
By he had become so drawn to Islamic architecture that he started collecting a library that was eventually to become one of the most comprehensive private collections of its kind.
As well as working at his engineering day job, he spent time studying eastern architecture. He published an article in The Burlington Magazine in , and soon after gave a paper to the Royal Asiatic Society , which was well received. Both concerned domes in Persian architecture. His interest in Islamic architecture spurred him to look for more satisfying employment, and in May he applied, unsuccessfully, to join the Archaeological Survey of India.
Some time afterwards he was posted to Egypt. He travelled extensively, making measured drawings and notes as well as recording the monuments photographically, producing nearly a thousand photographs. He intended this to be an exhaustive study of the subject.
As well as detailed descriptions of individual monuments, bolstered with plans, drawings and photographs, there were also to be chapters on the development of certain features, such as minarets, domes and madrasas. He submitted the proposal to King Fuad I of Egypt, who recognised the importance of such a work and was an enthusiastic patron.
Creswell was granted Egyptian pounds for three years to finance the work. Creswell hastily returned to England for demobilisation, and returned to Cairo on 13 October Archaeological excavations had significantly increased the number of known monuments, and no draughtsman was made available to him. He undertook all the work without assistance. Five volumes had been published by , totalling 1, pages, with a sixth volume in preparation but unpublished on his death in Other works[ edit ] Creswell first started work on the Bibliography of the Architecture, Arts and Crafts of Islam in ; it was finally published in This drew together all the books, articles and periodical volumes that concerned this very wide field, and comprised the listing of some 12, books and nearly as many periodical volumes.
A supplement appeared in As well as these huge undertakings, Creswell produced an additional sixty-odd articles and other writings. Teaching and other posts held; honours awarded[ edit ] Creswell was appointed a lecturer at Fuad University now Cairo University in Cairo in , and within three years was made Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture.
He held this post until In he became a member of the Higher Council for the Conservation of Arab Monuments, holding this post for 12 years. He was keenly involved in the recording and preservation of the twelfth-century wall and gates of medieval Cairo. Creswell was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in , became a C. The government advised Creswell to leave the country. On learning that his library could not be exported, Creswell resolved to stay.
The American University in Cairo offered to house the books on his behalf, and Creswell accepted, albeit with some exceedingly strict strings attached: the students, for example, were not allowed to touch the books. He died on 8 April He never married. Creswell bequeathed his library of 3,plus volumes to the American University in Cairo, along with his collection of some 11, photographic prints.
The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford received the photographic negatives. More than 2, prints were sent to art historian Bernard Berenson , a friend of Creswell.
K. A. C. Creswell
Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Add or remove collections. Ramses Wissa Wassef Architectural Drawings. Parker Nile Watercraft Photographs. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Hopkins Rural Egypt Photographs. Creswell Photographs of Islamic Architecture digital collection currently contains over oversized photographs collected architecturw K.
KAC CRESWELL EARLY MUSLIM ARCHITECTURE PDF