In the Fall of 2023, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present a groundbreaking exhibition that builds upon its long legacy of award-winning Byzantine exhibitions. This lecture will provide an overview of the exhibition, Africa & Byzantium, which explores translations of Byzantine art and culture by local and foreign artists working in northern and eastern Africa from the fourth through fifteenth centuries and beyond. Faith, politics, and commerce across land and sea linked African communities to Byzantium, resulting in a lively interchange of arts and beliefs. The exhibition will broaden public understanding of the Byzantine world, its reach, and its transcultural authority and examine the important role of early African Christian civilizations in this creative sphere. After a summary of the exhibition’s key themes and major artworks, this lecture will conclude with a consideration of what might be gained or lost by expanding the definitions of Byzantine Art and African Art in the context of this significant project.
Dr. Andrea Myers Achi is trained as a Byzantinist, and her curatorial practice focuses on late antique and Byzantine art of the Mediterranean Basin and Northeast Africa. She holds a BA from Barnard College and a Ph.D. from New York University. She specializes in the art and archaeology of Late Antiquity with a particular interest in illuminated manuscripts and ceramics. She has brought this expertise to bear on exhibitions like Art and Peoples of the Kharga Oasis (2017), Crossroads: Power and Piety (2020), and The Good Life (2021) at The Met and in numerous presentations and publications. Dr. Achi, also, is an archaeological ceramicist and has participated in numerous excavations in Egypt and Italy.
Organised by Dr Jessica Barker (The Courtauld) and Dr Tom Nickson
This event is kindly supported by the ICMA