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The College of Arts Sciences

Unique display of Byzantine-influenced art and architecture at Cornell Oct. 6-9

By: Ayla K. Cline, 
September 14, 2016

A unique assembly of art and artifacts highlighting the multifaceted beauty of the Byzantine period will be on display Oct. 6 to 9 at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, as part of the Byzantine Studies Conference being held during that time.

“This is a great opportunity to explore the influences of Byzantine art and architecture – from an unexpectedly playful panel of St. George spearing the dragon, to the very first photographs made of the fabled city of Dura Europos,” said exhibit curator Benjamin Anderson, assistant professor of history of art.

The exhibit presents works from the Johnson Museum of Art’s permanent collection, including religious icons, pilgrimage souvenirs, and newly-accessioned glassware, as well as a series of nineteenth-century photographs by John Henry Haynes, on loan from the Kroch Library's Rare and Manuscript Collections, showing 19th century archaeological sites in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.

The conference’s Plenary Lecture at 5 pm on Thurs., October 6 at the Johnson Museum of Art will be given by Robert Ousterhout (University of Pennsylvania) speaking on the region of central Turkey famous for its rock-cut churches and wild landscape; his lecture is entitled "The Enigma of Cappadocia.” The lecture is free and the public is invited; a reception will follow.

The Byzantine Studies Conference was founded in 1975 as a venue for the presentation and discussion of papers embodying current research on all aspects of Byzantine history and culture. Approximately 75 papers are presented and discussed in a relaxed but professional atmosphere.

Registration is required in order to attend the conference Oct. 7-9. Advance registration is available online at until September 22. Day-of registration will open at 3:30pm Thursday, October 6 at the Johnson Museum of Art.

Support for the conference comes from the Departments of Classics, Near Eastern Studies, and History of Art and Visual Studies, International Center of Medieval Art, the Religious Studies Program and Jewish Studies Program. The organizers also note the support of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and the Cornell Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, which will perform at the reception on Saturday evening, October 8.

For more information on the conference, visit

St. George and the Dragon