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Posts Tagged "Egypt"

Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Figurines in the Mediterranean

Alzahraa K. Ahmed, Intern, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2012

In many cases, burials have served as windows onto a past culture's daily life. Children's graves are no exception. Although attracting less archaeological attention than other finds, they provide abundant material that informs our understanding of the diverse activities and habits of people during the Greco-Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Early Islamic Textiles: Inscribed Garments

Nazanin Hedayat Munroe, Artist and Art Historian

Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012

The tradition of inscribed textiles in the Islamic world dates to the passing of the Prophet Muhammad (632 A.D.), whose spiritual and political authority was transferred through the donning of his mantle. The newly formed Muslim state experienced a number of shifts in the political arena. New allegiances were often represented by epigraphic bands on textiles, particularly garments.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza by Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole

Yitzchak Schwartz, Intern, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012

Reams of scholarship have been written on the contents of the Cairo Geniza, but in Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza, authors Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole explore how the 1896 discovery itself changed the world of Jewish scholarship.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Saint Bart's and Hildreth Meière

Annie Labatt, 2012 Chester Dale Fellow, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Friday, June 29, 2012

Like Saint Anselm's, which I discussed in an earlier post, Saint Bartholomew's Church in New York City (often known as "St. Bart's") offers an example of early twentieth-century appreciation of the Byzantine aesthetic.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Conservation of the Sixth-Century Mosaics at the Church of the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai

Stephanie Caruso, Graduate Student at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2012

As discussed in an earlier post, Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai has been continuously inhabited since the fourth century A.D. Remarkably, a lavish figural mosaic program from the sixth century, occupying the conch of the church's apse and a surrounding triumphal arch, survives to this day.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Interview with the Textile Conservator

Annie Labatt, 2012 Chester Dale Fellow, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One of the most interesting things about working on an exhibition is getting to meet all the different people involved on the project. Each member of the team performs a crucial role in preparing for an exhibition. I recently interviewed Kathrin Colburn, a textile conservator here, to find out about her work.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Saint Shenoute of Atripe

Alzahraa K. Ahmed, Intern, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Scholars have debated whether Saint Shenoute of Atripe lived from 332–451 or 350–466—an astonishing length of time in either case—but all agree that he was one of the most important monastic reformers the Coptic Church has ever known.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Letters and Letter Writing

Annie Labatt, 2012 Chester Dale Fellow, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The exhibition contains a number of letters that reveal the movement and flow of ideas throughout the territories of the Byzantine empire, including Egypt.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai

Stephanie Georgiadis, Intern, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, April 9, 2012

Saint Catherine's Monastery—officially "Sacred and Imperial Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount of Sinai"—located in the Sinai Peninsula, is one of the oldest functioning Christian monasteries. Constructed in the sixth century under the orders of Justinian I (r. 527–565), it was built in the spot where, according to Christian belief, the angels brought the body of Saint Catherine of Alexandria after her execution.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Treasures from the Ben Ezra Synagogue

Yitzchak Schwartz, Intern, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012

Several of the Jewish manuscripts on view in Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, including the example shown above, are thought to have come from the Cairo Genizah, a repository of communal, religious, and business documents housed in the attic of the tenth-century Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo that was rediscovered in 1896 by Cambridge scholar Solomon Schechter.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Family and Children

Alzahraa K. Ahmed, Intern, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scholars have produced ample studies on the imperial and aristocratic life of Byzantium, focusing on buildings, endowments, clothes, and other aspects. While these studies provide essential insights into the Byzantine world, the empire did not consist solely of emperors, their entourages, or wealthy families, the dynatoi. Another view is offered through the lens of the non-elite society, which existed somewhat independently and shaped the Byzantine community economically, culturally, and socially.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Women's Letters from Ancient Egypt, 300 BC–AD 800

Betsy Williams, Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow, Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

While many studying the late antique period tend to focus on large-scale political shifts, change on the microlevel is often more difficult to track. Women's Letters from Ancient Egypt offers such a sense of everyday people's daily concerns by allowing us to peek at their correspondence.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Sohag and Bawit

Alzahraa K. Ahmed, Intern, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Travelers from Cairo to Upper Egypt inevitably pass through the cities Bawit and Sohag. These cities, which are not on most itineraries, do not house many pharaonic antiquities (aside from the great Temple of Siti I, in Sohag), but they do boast fascinating late antique monuments.

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Byzantium and Islam Exhibition Blog

Introduction

Helen C. Evans, Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition explores the wealthy southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire from Syria to Egypt and across North Africa as part of the empire and then as part of the emerging Islamic world. This blog joins the works in the exhibition galleries and the catalogue in seeking to understand this era of transition across a region that contains many of the lands of the "Arab Spring."

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About this Blog

This blog accompanied the special exhibition Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, on view March 14–July 8, 2012.