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Spheres of Influence: Byzantine Art in the Global Middle Ages

The Oak Room, Fellowship House
November 14, 2019
06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
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Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Helen C. Evans discusses the reach of Byzantine art and culture during the Middle Ages.

The empire of the Romans ruled from Constantinople that we know as the Byzantine Empire was central to the major trade routes of the medieval world. Over the centuries, diverse peoples and goods traveled through the empire’s expanding and contracting lands, making its art and culture relevant not only to neighboring states but also to those as far east as Japan and Ethiopia and as far west as Spain and the British Isles. This talk will consider how the role of Byzantine art and culture and its interconnections with lands beyond its territorial borders should be central to the growing interest in the Global Middle Ages.

Helen C. Evans is Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She joined the museum's staff in 1991 and is responsible for the acquisition, study, and interpretation of the museum's collection of early Christian, early Jewish, and early-to-late East Christian and Byzantine art. Her exhibitions—including Armenia! (2018), Byzantium and Islam (2012), Byzantium: Faith and Power (2004), and The Glory of Byzantium (1997)—have explored the importance of Byzantine art and its connections beyond its borders. She received her BA from Newcomb College of Tulane University and her MA and PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She is immediate past president of the Association of Art Museum Curators and president of the International Center for Medieval Art.

Pendant icon with Christ blessing, Byzantine (Constantinople), first half of 12th century, Musée du Louvre, Départment des Objets d’Art (OA MR 95)