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Byzantine art is normally explained as devotional, historical, highly intellectualized, but this book argues for an experiential necessity for a fuller, deeper, more ethical approach to this art. Written in response to an exhibition the author curated at The Menil Collection in 2013, this monograph challenges us to search for novel ways to explore and interrogate the art of this distant culture. They marshal diverse disciplines—modern art, environmental theory, anthropology—to argue that Byzantine culture formed a special kind of Christian animism. While completely foreign to our world, that animism still holds important lessons for approaches to our own relations to the world. Mutual probings of subject and art, of past and present, arise in these essays—some new and some previously published—and new explanations therefore open up that will interest historians of art, museum professionals, and anyone interested in how art makes and remakes the world.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-28
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  1. Part 1: Animate Materialities from Icon to Cathedral
  1. Chapter 1: Showing Byzantine Materiality
  2. pp. 31-42
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  1. Chapter 2: The Byzantine Material Symphony: Sound, Stuff, and Things
  2. pp. 43-52
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  1. Part 2: Byzantine Things in the World: Animating Museum Spaces
  1. Chapter 3: Prelude on Transfiguring Exhibition
  2. pp. 55-58
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  1. Chapter 4: Transfiguring Materialities: Relational Abstraction in Byzantium and Its Exhibition
  2. pp. 59-80
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  1. Chapter 5: Framing and Conserving Byzantine Art: Experiences of Relative Identity
  2. pp. 81-94
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  1. Part 3: Pushing the Envelope, Breaking Out: Making, Materials, Materiality
  1. Chapter 6: Angelic Anagogy, Silver, and Matter's Mire
  2. pp. 97-108
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  1. Chapter 7: Late Antique Making and Wonder
  2. pp. 109-126
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  1. Chapter 8: Senses' Other Sides
  2. pp. 127-138
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 139-140
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 141-164
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 165-168
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