“Syria Before the Deluge” Exhibition

The Center for Architecture

poster for “Syria Before the Deluge” Exhibition

This event has ended.

The exhibition presents photographs of Syria by Peter Aaron, documenting ancient and historic monuments before the Syrian Civil War.

The Center for Architecture presents Syria Before the Deluge. The exhibition features photographs of Syria taken by the acclaimed architectural photographer Peter Aaron in 2009. The photographs were previously exhibited at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.

In 2009, Peter Aaron visited Syria with his wife, author Brooke Allen, and their twin daughters. Aaron photographed their trip extensively, capturing Syria on a on two Canon 5D cameras: one regular and one converted to capture only infrared light, darkening blue skies and lightening foliage while enhancing the texture of the stone monuments. While Aaron didn’t intend to exhibit photographs from a family vacation publicly, they assumed a new significance following the devastation of the Syrian Civil War.

Aaron’s arresting photographs include five of Syria’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, many of which were destroyed or heavily damaged during the Syrian Civil War. The Krak des Chevaliers, widely considered the greatest example of Crusader castle buildings, returned to its original function as a defensive structure and was subject to shellings and airstrikes. Aleppo’s souq, once bustling with activity, was consumed by a fire that burned for days in September 2012. While the photographs serve as a record of the country’s architectural monuments, they also capture the life of its cities and inhabitants. Images depict holidaymakers picnicking among the ruins of Palmyra and vendors selling food and wares amidst the remains of the Temple of Jupiter at Damascus.

At the Center for Architecture, Aaron’s photographs will be supplemented by six original plates from Robert Wood’s The Ruins of Palmyra (1753), on loan from SPACED:Gallery of Architecture, and contextual texts by scholars Avinoam Shalem, Riggio Professor of the History of the Arts of Islam at Columbia University, and Isotta Poggi, Assistant Curator at the Getty Research Institute.



from March 28, 2019 to July 13, 2019
Panel Discussion Thursday, May 9, 6-8 pm.

Opening Reception on 2019-03-28 from 18:00 to 20:00

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