Mihri (Müşfik) Hanım (1886-1954)
Mihri Hanım, one of the first female Turkish painters, was born in Istanbul. Her father Mehmet Rasim Paşa was one of the most successful physicians of the Ottoman Empire, the Minister of Medicine, and an instructor at the Imperial School of Medicine. Mihri Hanım received a European education, and although she was interested in literature and music as well, she eventually focused completely on painting. After taking her first private painting lessons with the court painter Fausto Zonaro in his studio in Beşiktaş, from 1906 onwards she continued her education at the Académie de France in Rome and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She returned to Istanbul in 1912, and in 1913 she was appointed as an art teacher at the Dârülmuallimât (Teacher Training School for Girls). She played an important role in the establishment of the Academy of Fine Arts for Women, which was founded in 1914 in order to provide an education to female students, who were not yet being accepted to the Academy of Fine Arts. Mihri Hanım was first appointed to the painting studio at the school and after some time, she became the director, succeeding Salih Zeki Bey first by herself, then alongside Ömer Adil. Despite bureaucratic restrictions, she encouraged her students, including Müzdan Arel, Güzin Duran, Nazlı Ecevit and Fahrelnissa Zeid, to paint outdoors and to work from nature, live models, and ancient sculptures. In 1919 she returned to Rome for a year, and taught at the Academy of Fine Arts for Women for two more years upon her return. She moved to Rome again in 1922, and finally settled in New York in 1927, working as a visiting painting professor at various universities as well as taking part in the activities of several women’s rights associations.
These People Might Also Interest You