My original training in Sofia where I was born, and at Moscow University as well, was in Slavonic philology with a concentration on Cyrillic epigraphy. Subsequently, I pursued the history of art and architecture during my graduate studies in the United States. I hold an M.A. from Vanderbilt and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. I have received two fellowships from Dumbarton Oaks/Harvard University. I teach courses in Late Antique, Byzantine and Russian art and architecture. My early publications dealt with Post-Byzantine frescoes and their inscriptions and with late antique architecture and urbanism. Also, I have written on the interplay of late Byzantine architecture, mural painting and natural landscape. My research into the changing perceptions of Byzantine art, as well as the different ways in which Europeans and Americans engage the ancient and medieval cultural heritage, led me to initiate and curate two exhibitions focusing on the history of art collecting. The first of them was Sacred Art, Secular Context: Objects of Art from the Byzantine Collection of Dumbarton Oaks (Georgia Museum of Art 2005); the second involved the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens—Exuberance of Meaning: The Art Patronage of Catherine the Great (1762-1796), (Georgia Museum of Art, September 22, 2013 to January 5, 2014; Hillwood, February 14 to June 8, 2014). Currently I am conducting research on an unpublished and never displayed private collection of Russian art numbering 2,629 objects. A representative selection from this collection’s holdings will be featured in an exhibition titled Gifts, Prayer and Salvation in the Romanov Empire; the show will be mounted at the Georgia Museum of Art from September 3 to December 31, 2016.
Changing perceptions of Byzantine art
Different ways in which Europeans and Americans engage the ancient and medieval cultural heritage