videos + essays
Learn why the Byzantines argued about images for over a century.
Not all tangible cultural heritage is in need of preservation, and sometimes a community requires, even celebrates, the destruction of cultural objects.
Manuscripts have complex lives—learn about the mutilation, dispersal, and framing, of two important Iranian manuscripts
Alexander, the Mongols, and the great epic of Iran.
Producing this lush miniature involved many Persian artists—and likely some familiarity with Chinese sources.
How can the destruction of an artifact also be an act of preservation?
Rewriting history in ancient Rome.
If the Roman government condemned a ruler, his portraits often died with him. We know that Roman emperors were often raised to the status of gods after their deaths. However, just as many were given the opposite treatment—officially erased from memory. Condemning memory is a term we use to describe a Roman phenomenon in […]
That’s right, the Erased de Kooning Drawing is… an erased drawing by Willem de Kooning. It is also a statement that the “erasing” artist, Robert Rauschenberg, made about the artistic culture of his time and about his own artistic practice. How It Happened In the Fall of 1952, the young artist Robert Rauschenberg visited the […]
Different church interiors — Calvinist (Protestant) and Catholic In paintings by seventeenth-century Dutch artist Pieter Saenredam, the interiors of churches often appear as blank, sterile spaces with white walls, clear glass windows, and a notable lack of decoration. We know from his meticulous preparatory drawings that Saenredam was a precise artist, and although he sometimes […]
Two medieval Spanish monasteries make their way to the United States, and survive to be reconstructed — barely.