Chronological Order

Thematic order


Füreya Koral

Füreya Koral

Turkey's first female modern ceramic artist
"No imprisonment of art in a museum!"

Date of Birth: 12/06/1910 1910

Place of Birth: Istanbul

Date of Death: 26/08/1997 1997

Place of Death: Istanbul

Burial Site: Büyükada Cemetery, Istanbul



Füreya Koral

Field of Activity

"(...)I want even the poorest to eat off of my plates. Let my plates be everyone's. Let the table I've made be in every household. Better to say all the tables we've made. I must do an oven out of ceramic. And a nice newel pos. Let my coffeecups be in every cafe. The rich, the poor, good or bad, in every household. Young or old, in every hand. No imprisonment of art in a museum. That art is dead art. It doesn't suit the age we're living in. The Ancient Greeks used to mingle art with their daily life. The Greek cup we see in the museums had been used for drinking wine. The beautiful flagon was used for pouring water, the beautiful dish was used for drinking the water. Statues and sculptures were everywhere in all the city squares.
(...) You have to live art like breathing,it has to be something like drinking water, like laughing, like talking, like seeing. This is the way art has to mingle in your daily life. In the same way art mingles with the artist's life, it should mingle with the public's life.
(...) For me ceramic art, first of all is like a tool, or a book, or music. A tool to express the world, to make my own world come alive, a tool that makes living and sharing possible. I mean ceramics are not just decorative items or objects of consumption."
(Füreya Koral)
Zeynep Oral "Füreya" Milliyet Sanat, 15.2.1993.

(A selection)

  • 1951 First individual ceramics and lithography exhibition, Paris
  • 1951 Maya Galerisi, individual exhibition, İstanbul
  • 1955 Cannes International Exhibition
  • 1962 Prague International Exhibition
  • 1967 International Ceramic Exhibition, Istanbul

The works of Füreyya Koral in public places
  • Wall panel in the lobby of the Marmara Hotel, İstanbul, 1960
  • Wall panel at Ulus Shopping Center, Ankara, 1962
  • Wall panel in the shopping center Manifaturacılar Çarşısı, İstanbul, 1963
  • Wall panel at the faculty of dentistry, University of Hacettepe, Ankara, 1965
  • Wall panel in the Ziraat Bank in İstanbul, 1966
  • Wall panel in the Divan Hotel, İstanbul, 1969
  • Wall panels at the Tam Sigorta Building, Ankara, 1969
  • Wall panel at the Divan patisserie in Taksim, İstanbul, 1969
  • Wall panel in the Sheraton Hotel, İstanbul

Füreyya Koral as critique writer and translater

Füreyya Koral wrote music reviews, did translations between 1940 and 1944.

A role in a film

Gölge Oyunu, 1992, Script/Director Yavuz Turgul, Şener Şen, Sevket Altuğ, Füreya, Koral. Music: Atilla Özdemiroğlu.


(A selection)

  • 1955 Silver Medal at the International Exhibition in Cannes, France
  • 1962 Gold Medal at the International Exhibition in Prague
  • 1967 Silver Medal at the International Ceramisc Exhibition, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 1981 Medal of the Turkish Republic Cultural Ministry, Turkey
  • 1986 Sedat Simavi Foundation Award for Plastic Arts (together with Neşe Erdok)

Washington Smithsonian Institute Award, USA

Diploma of Honour at the Vallauris Biennale, France


(No information available)


  • Lycee of Notre Dame de Sion, Istanbul
  • 1947 in Lausanne (Switzerland) she started to work with ceramics

Contributions to Society

(No information available)

Family and Friends

  • Mother: Hakkiye Hanım
  • Father: Emin Paşa (Emin Koral
  • Grandfather: Mehmed Şakir Paşa (elçi, vali / ambassador/governor)
  • Nephew: Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı / Halikarnas Balıkçısı (roman ve öykü yazarı/ novel and short story writer)
  • Aunts: Aliye Berger (gravür sanatçısı / engraving artist), Fahrelnissa Zeyd (ressam / painter),
  • Marriages: Ali Kılıç (milletvekili, politikacı / congressman/politician)
  • Friends: Şakir Eczacıbaşı, Alev Ebuziyya, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (yazar/ writer), Ayda Arel (sanat tarihçisi/ art historian), Rabia Çapa (sanat galerisi sahibi/ owner of an art gallery), Candeğer Fürtun (ressam/artist), Utarit İzgi (mimar/architect), Jacques Lassaigne (elestirmen/reviewer), Tüzüm Kızılcan (seramik sanatcisi/ ceramic artist), Bingül Başarır (seramik ve cam sanatçısı / ceramic and glass artist), Abidin Dino (ressam/artist), Mina Urgan (yazar, filolog, çevirmen / writer, philologist, translator), Yaşar Kemal (yazar/writer), Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu (şair/ poet), Abidin Dino (ressam, yazar / artist,writer), Alain Gheerbrant (yazar/writer), Zeynep Oral (yazar, gazeteci/ writer, journalist)

Commemorative Projects

(No information available)

Further Reading


Quoted Sources
  • See section "Further Reading"
  • Zeynep Oral "Füreya" Milliyet Sanat, 15.2.1993

Sources of Visual Images


The Istanbul Women's Museum is grateful to Burcu Pelvanoğlu for her support in producing the Füreyya Koral memorial page.

Translation into English: Yeşim Akçay
Editing: Judith Cederblom, Seattle, Washington, USA

©2012 Meral Akkent
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