Patricia Blessing specializes the art and architecture of the Islamic world, with a focus on the eastern Mediterranean and Iran from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries.
Her book, Rebuilding Anatolia after the Mongol Conquest: Islamic Architecture in the Lands of Rūm, 1240–1330 (Ashgate, 2014) investigates the relationship between patronage, politics, and architectural style after the integration of the region into the Mongol empire. In the book, Blessing argues that because patrons under Mongol rule acted largely independently, architecture became increasingly bound to local building practices and styles. Together with Rachel Goshgarian, she edited Architecture and Landscape in Medieval Anatolia, 1100-1500 (Edinburgh University Press, 2017). Blessing is currently working on her second monograph, Malleable Monuments: The Material Politics of Ottoman Architecture in the Fifteenth Century which studies how transregional exchange shaped building practices in the Ottoman Empire. Moving away from a narrative of Ottoman architecture that foregrounds the centralized workshops and imperial style of the sixteenth century, Blessing demonstrates how workers from Anatolia, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Iran and Central Asia participated in Ottoman construction projects,
Blessing’s work has been supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the International Center of Medieval Art, the Society of Architectural Historians, the Barakat Trust, the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University, and the Gerda Henkel Foundation.