Youssouf Bey: The Charged Portraits of Fin-de-Siécle Pera is a two-volume special publication (Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul, 2016) that accompanied ANAMED’s exhibition “The Characters of Yusuf Franko: An Ottoman Bureaucrat’s Caricatures”(26 January – 01 June 2017). The book of articles from this special volume has been recently published by ANAMED and, thus, is available to a larger audience.
Yusuf Franko Kusa Bey (1856–1933), a high-ranking bureaucrat in fin-de-siècle Ottoman imperial administration, was also a talented caricaturist. Because of his duties in the Ottoman Foreign Ministry, and spending most of his life in Istanbul, he was both a member and an observer of high-society social circles in Pera [Beyoğlu]. Ambassadors, ministers, diplomats, famous opera singers, painters, Pashas and Efendis, Madames and Monsieurs, were part of this social milieu, and most of them became eternally recorded through the ‘types and charges’ in Yusuf Franko’s caricature album. Including images of himself, he charged his subject materials, the people in his social network, with their particular qualities and transformed their portraits into witty caricatures that reflected contemporary scenes of social life and political debates in Pera. While the articles in this book analyze the majority of Yusuf Bey’s caricatures from diverse perspectives (his family history and biography, the history of contemporary European caricature art and politics, and the social and spatial context in which he drew his caricatures), the appendix gives brief information about each caricature plate in the original album. These extraordinary caricatures are published for the first time in their entirety since they were discovered in an antique rug dealer’s shop in Istanbul in 1957.
The book is available at Koç University Press and YKY stores.