Şeref Akdik was born in Istanbul as the son of Reîsülhattâtîn (Master Calligrapher) Kâmil Akdik, who taught calligraphy at the Imperial School (the Galatasaray High School) and the Academy of Fine Arts. Akdik received calligraphic training from his father, and completed his secondary education at the Fatih Middle School. In 1911, he participated in the children’s competition organised by the Society of Ottoman Painters and came in second. In 1913 he met Hoca Ali Rıza, and in 1914 he met İbrahim Çallı. In 1915, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts. He took drawing and plaster lessons from his first teacher, Joseph Warnia-Zarzecki, then studied oil painting in Ömer Adil and İbrahim Çallı’s studios, and drawing with Hikmet Onat. His studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the army in 1916, serving in the First World War. When the war ended in 1918, he returned to school. He passed the scholarship examination to study in Europe in 1925, and was sent to Paris to continue his education in fine arts. He studied under Paul-Albert Laurens at the Académie Julian. During this time he also travelled outside Paris, visiting museums in Germany, Belgium, and Italy. Returning to Turkey in 1928, he worked as a painting teacher at various high schools and institutes. A founding member of the Association of Independent Painters and Sculptors, heregularly took part in the annual State Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions. In 1951, he became a studio instructor at the Academy of Fine Arts. Akdik also produced works in calligraphy and ebru (the Turkish art of paper marbling), a result of his father’s early training in the traditional arts. He continued to teach painting and calligraphy at the Academy until retiring in 1964.
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