George Manginis - The Courtauld Institute of Art

George Manginis

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George Manginis

Associate Lecturer

My research interests focus on the varied modes of sharing cultural practices across Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean. In my first book, ‘Mount Sinai; A History of Travellers and Pilgrims’ (published 2016), I examined the monastic and pilgrimage phenomena since Late Antiquity. In ‘China Rediscovered; The Benaki Museum Collection of Chinese Ceramics’ (published 2016) and in a series of relevant articles I focused on the reception and appreciation of Chinese pottery in early 20th century Europe. I have also published research on the material culture of diasporic communities, either Armenians in 17th century Iran and 18th century India or Greeks in 19th century Britain. Finally, my ongoing research examines the appropriation of Islamic art in Interwar-period Greece. These research interests have been explored not only in scholarly writings but also in permanent and temporary museum exhibitions, like the Treasury of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sophia, London (2006) and the ‘Ceramics from China’ exhibition at the Benaki Museum, Athens (2016), both of which I curated.

Research interests

  • Monasticism in the Eastern Mediterranean, with a focus on the Early Islamic period.
  • Medieval Christian pilgrimage.
  • Early modern travellers to the Near East.
  • Adoption of Byzantine and Islamic traditions in European material culture during the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Traditions of collecting Chinese art in 19th-/20th-century Europe.
  • Specially-commissioned ‘Chinese export’ porcelain for the Middle East and India.

Recent publications (since 2010)


  • China Rediscovered: The Benaki Museum Collection of Chinese Ceramics, Athens: Benaki Museum and London: Haus Publishing Ltd 2016, 144 pages.
  • Mount Sinai: A History of Travellers and Pilgrims, London: Haus Publishing Ltd 2016, 308 pages.

Exhibition catalogues

  • ‘Chinese export art for the Armenian diaspora,’ in Switzerland-Armenia: The Kalfayan Collection on the Path of Memory, Geneva: Musée des Suisses dans le Monde 2015, 64–9.
  • Also in French: ‘L’exportation de la porcelaine de Chine pour la diaspora arménienne,’ in Suisse-Arménie. La Collection Kalfayan, sur le chemin de la mémoire, Genève: Musée des Suisses dans le Monde 2015, 64–9.

Articles in edited volumes

  • ‘Bosphorus-on-Thames. Neo-Byzantine Architecture in Victorian London,’ in Festschrift for Professors Emeritae Sophia Kalopissi-Verti and Maria Panayiotidi-Kessisoglou (working title), Oxford: BAR (forthcoming).
  • ‘Armenian Patrons for Chinese Commodities. Trade Networks and Cultural Exchange Across Asia,’ in Alison Ohta, Michael Rogers and Rosalind Wade Haddon (eds), Art, Trade and Culture in the Islamic World and Beyond. From the Fatimids to the Mughals, London: Gingko Library 2016, 176–87.
  • ‘A Fātimid period kursī at the Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai,’ in Zetta Theodoropoulou Polychroniadis and Doniert Evely (eds), Aegis: Essays in Mediterranean Archaeology presented to Matti Egon by the Scholars of the Greek Archaeological Committee UK, Oxford: Archaeopress 2015, 211–20.
  • ‘Pillar of Fire or Dust? Jabal Mūsā in the Nineteenth Century,’ in Proceedings of the Multidisciplinary Conference on the Sinai Desert, Cairo: The Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo 2015, 66–83.
  • ‘Early Ottoman Architecture,’ ‘Constantinople (Istanbul),’The Classical Era of Ottoman Architecture,’ and ‘Topkapi Palace,’ in Islamic Art and Architecture, London 2010, 216–223.
    Reprinted in History of Islamic Architecture, London 2012, and Islamic Art and Design, London 2012.

Short Articles

  • ‘Chinese Ceramics at the Benaki Museum, Athens–An Exhibition and a Book,’ Meicheng Zaijiu 美成在久 September 2016 (in Chinese).
  • ‘Into the Circle: A Greek Collector of Chinese Art / “圈”:来自希腊的中国艺术藏家,’ LEAP 艺术界 January / February 2016, 166–9 (in English and Chinese).
  • “Chinese Porcelain for ‘the Armenian Market,’” Newsletter of the Oriental Ceramic Society 20 (May 2012), 14–16.


  • ‘A Crusader, Ottoman, and Early Modern Aegean Archaeology. Built Environment and Domestic Material Culture in the Medieval and Post-Medieval Cyclades, Greece (13th–20th Century AD), by Athanasios Vionis,’ Journal of Islamic Archaeology 1.3 (forthcoming).
  • ‘Competitive Archaeology in Jordan: Narrating Identity from the Ottomans to the Hashemites, by Elena D. Corbett,’ American Anthropologist 12/2016 (forthcoming).
  • ‘The Mongol Century: Visual Cultures of Yuan China, 1271-1368, by Shane McCausland,’ Newsletter of the Oriental Ceramic Society 23 (November 2015), 35–6.
  • ‘Provenance. Collectors, Dealers & Scholars: Chinese Ceramics in Britain and America, by Roy Davids and Dominic Jellinek,’ Newsletter of the Oriental Ceramic Society 20 (May 2012), 19–20.
  • ‘Islamic Arts from Spain, by Mariam Rosser-Owen,’ Newsletter of the Oriental Ceramic Society 19 (May 2011), 15.

Other academic activity

  • Patrick Leigh Fermor Arts Fund grant for the book China Rediscovered (2016).
  • Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh (since 2016).
  • Editor for the Gingko Library Art Series, London (since 2016).
  • Co-tutor, Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, SOAS, University of London (since 2014).
  • Member of the Islamic Art Circle (since 2012).
  • Member of the Historians of Islamic Art Association (since 2010).
  • Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, London (since 2004).
  • Editor of the Newsletter of the Oriental Ceramic Society, London (since 2008).
  • Council Member of the Oriental Ceramic Society, London (2007 – 2010).

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