Restoring Byzantium:
The Kariye Camii in Istanbul and the Byzantine Institute Restoration


On view
Aug 28, 2004 to Oct 10, 2004

This exhibition was devoted to the restoration of the Kariye Camii in Istanbul, originally the church of Christ in the Chora Monastery. Second in renown only to Hagia Sophia among the Byzantine monuments in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), the mosaics and frescoes of Kariye Camii are comparable to artistic monuments of the early Italian Renaissance.

During the Ottoman period, its figural decorations were gradually covered over. A major program of restoration was initiated in 1947, and today the Kariye Camii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Istanbul. The exhibition featured photos, artifacts, and seven oil-on-canvas, full-scale copies of the parekklesion frescoes, created in situ during the 1947 restoration. Exhibition and tour organized by the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University.

Exhibition programming

September 12
1 pm: Second Sunday Gallery Tour
Guided tour of the exhibition by Michael Conner, curator

September 17
5:30 pm: Lectures
"Displaying Byzantium: An Introduction to the Exhibition," a talk by Holger Klein, Cleveland Museum of Art; and "Rhetoric and Reality in the Art of the Kariye Camii," a talk by Henry Maguire, Johns Hopkins University. These talks were organized in conjunction with the symposium, "The Kariye Camii: Art and Intellectual Currents in the Late Middle Ages."

Guest Curator: Holger A. Klein

Allen Stringfellow, Street Smarts II, ca. 1990s. Collage and watercolor on paper. Gift of John and Dorothy Gardner. 2014-8-1
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Kennedy Browne, Real World Harm (Act I), 2018. Still from 360º video for Oculus, 5 minutes. Courtesy of the artists © Kennedy Browne
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Guerrilla Girls (American, active since 1985), Guerrilla Girls' Pop Quiz from Portfolio Compleat, 1990. Digital print on paper. Museum purchase through the Art Acquisition Fund 2014-13-1.29
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Response Wall
8 to Create Alumni Exhibition, 2019 promo image
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