We at the Harvard University Art Museums are committed to advancing the knowledge and appreciation of art through exhibitions and their attendant publications. Often these derive from seminars taught by our colleagues elsewhere in the university. Byzantine Women and Their World began life as one such seminar and, with the help of Andrew W. Mellon Internships awarded to graduate students, developed into an exhibition and a publication of the greatest originality and importance.
Ioli Kalavrezou, Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Byzantine Art at Harvard, led a curatorial team that comprised her students Molly Fulghum Heintz, Elizabeth Gittings, and Alicia Walker, as well as Amy Brauer, Diane Heath Beever Associate Curator of Ancient and Byzantine Art and Numismatics at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum.
We are deeply grateful for their work in bringing to fruition this complicated project, as we are to Angeliki Laiou, Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Byzantine History at Harvard, for the essay she contributed to the catalogue, and to all the seminar students who wrote entries.
A topic as original as this one relies substantially on the evidence presented by means of the objects included in the study and, ultimately, from the resulting exhibition. Numerous lenders contributed generously to our project, none more than Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks, a sister institution with which we are most pleased to have cooperated. For their support of our efforts, we wish to thank especially Ned Keenan, director, and Susan Boyd, curator of the Byzantine Collection. For their generosity in lending prized objects from their collections we wish also to thank the directors and curators at the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington; the Malcove Collection, Toronto; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Morgan Library, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City; the Princeton University Art Museum; the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; and the Worcester Museum of Art, as well as private collectors.
We would also like to acknowledge the many funders who made possible the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue: the Diane Heath Beever Fund, the Louise E. Bettens Fund, John F. Cogan, Jr., the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation, Jessie Lie Farber, the Goldman Sachs Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Gurel Student Exhibition Fund, George Hatsopoulos, John Hatsopoulos, Joseph Koerner, the Parthenon Group, Shelby White and Leon Levy, Liliane and José M. Soriano, and an anonymous donor.
It is especially rewarding for me to be able to write the foreword to this catalogue, the last to be produced under my directorship at the Harvard Art Museums. I take great pride in our commitment to our scholarly and pedagogical achievements. And Byzantine Women and Their World is exemplary in this respect.
Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director
Harvard University Art Museums