The Fictioning Horror Sale

From the Authors


Original Essays

Powell's Q&A

Tech Q&A

Kids' Q&A



Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


The Magic of Ahmet Ertuğ

If stunning photography and stylish book design rock your world, you probably already own a selection of Taschen publications. Taschen is bold, brassy, and very, very German.

In Istanbul, three thousand miles from Taschen's home turf, the house of Ertuğ and Kocabiyik has produced some of the most beautiful large format, limited edition photography books in the world.

Specializing in books on Byzantine and Ottoman art and architecture, the large format photography of Ahmet Ertuğ is nothing less than delectable.

It's almost silly to put my photos of his photos in this post; my camera is a Sony Sure Shot with 3.2 megapixels. Ertuğ shoots with an 8 x 10 inch, large format camera. His photos can be viewed online.

Currently, we have three of his books in stock. In Pursuit of Excellence: Worlds of Art from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts was published in 1993. His ode to the principal mosque in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia: A Vision of Empires, was published in 1997. Anatolian Carpets: Masterpieces from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts was released in 1999 and is a must-have for the oriental carpet enthusiast.

How is a book that is itself a work of art put together? Sit back and watch.

Making of the Book from Ahmet Ertug on Vimeo.

As beautiful as our three Ertuğ publications are, the book of his to own is Temples of Knowledge: Historical Libraries of the Western World. Limited to 400 copies (another 100 "portfolio" copies are available), Temples of Knowledge is a showcase for Ertuğ's gorgeous, large format photography.

Did I just drool on my monitor?

Will Temples of Knowledge rival Taschen's SUMO and quadruple in value over ten years? As with all works of art, only time will tell.

÷ ÷ ÷

Kirsten Berg has worked as a used book buyer for Powell's for more than 10 years. She is experienced with technical and general reading material, and enjoys working with out-of-print and rare material the most.

Books mentioned in this post

Post a comment:

Get Your Gravatar

  1. Please note:
  2. All comments require moderation by staff.
  3. Comments submitted on weekends might take until Monday to appear.
PowellsBooks.Blog uses Gravatar to allow you to personalize the icon that appears beside your name when you post. If you don't have one already, get your Gravatar today!
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at