The Glory of Byzantium by Helen C. Evans
The Arts of Byzantium, Armenia & Islam: Age of Transition with Helen C. Evans (Part 2 of 2)
An Evening with Dr. Helen C. Evans
At the foot of Mount Ararat, on the crossroads of the eastern and western worlds, medieval Armenians dominated international trading routes that reached from Europe to China and India to Russia. As the first people to convert officially to Christianity, they commissioned and produced some of the most extraordinary religious objects of the Middle Ages. An unprecedented volume , published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and accompanying the exhibition Armenia! With groundbreaking essays by international scholars and exquisite illustrations, Armenia: Art, Religion, and Trade in the Middle Ages illuminates the singular achievements of a great medieval civilization. Helen Evans, the editor of the catalogue and curator of the exhibition, spoke with me about her long history studying this topic, the ways in which we might relate medieval Armenia to the present day, and why Armenia has been overlooked in the history of Christian art.
Rachel High, Publishing and Marketing Assistant, in conversation with Curator Helen Evans about the exhibition catalogue for Armenia!.
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The exhibition, which will feature more than objects, most of which will be on view in the United States for the first time, was organized by Evans. It will open on September 22 and run through January 13, , and will explore the arts and culture of the Armenians from their conversion to Christianity in the early 4th century through their leading role on international trade routes in the 17th century. The course will use the works in the exhibition to examine how a tradition of Armenian art came to be defined, its character and its connections to the arts of other cultures.
Achi specializes in the art and archaeology of Late Antiquity and has a particular interest in manuscripts and archaeological objects from Christian Egypt. Currently, she is working on exhibition projects related to Egyptian monasteries, the material culture of Late Antiquity, and Christianity along the Nile Valley. She oversees daily operations and activities, including those of the gardens, manages the operating budget, and acts as liaison with other Museum departments and the community. Her area of interest is medieval textiles, particularly Italian figural silks. A graduate of Wellesley College, Dr. Christine Brennan joined the Museum's staff in A specialist in the history of collecting, Christine's research focuses on the market for medieval art in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe and America.
Editor, with William D. Evans has presided over three major exhibitions spanning the history of the Byzantine Empire , each one preserved in a book-length catalog. The first, "The Age of Spirituality," covered the third through eighth centuries, which takes the Empire from its origins in Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire , to the emergence of a distinctive Byzantine art under Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora. Evans organized this exhibit in but had to wait nearly twenty years before putting together the second part, whose catalog was titled The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A. Essays covered such areas as the rhythms of Byzantine society, the impact of the Crusades, and the complex interactions between the capital and the surrounding provinces of the Empire. As Evans told Ika Koznarska Casanova in an interview for the Ukrainian Weekly, "The traditional approach to Byzantine art history was that the good works were in Constantinople and everything else was provincial.
It was published in conjunction with the spring exhibition of the same name. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Evans about her trip and the award-winning book. Evans accepting the World Book Award. Was there an aspect of either of their talks that really stood out to you? Helen Evans: Yes, Rafsanjani spoke at great length about intellectual freedom and freedom of thought, which I found somewhat surprising given the western conception of Iran today. It was an impressive talk in which he was very passionate about the need for intellectual advancement.