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Conversations in Culture: Celebrating Byzantine Art in the Nation’s Capital

A conversation on Byzantine art between Drs. Susan Arensberg and Eugenia Halkia two of the main curators of the exhibition:
“Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections”  
currently on view at the National Gallery of Art until March 2, 2014.

On the occasion of Greece’s Presidency of the European Union Council,
the Embassy of Greece and the Delegation of the European Union to the U.S.


Conversations in Culture: Celebrating Byzantine Art in the Nation’s Capital

Dr. Eugenia Halkia, Director Emerita of Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens, Greece and Dr. Susan Arensberg, Head of the Department of Exhibition Programs, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC will talk about the importance of presenting Byzantine art, the soul and splendor of a one-thousand-year empire, in the Nation’s Capital. Byzantine art set the foundation of the Renaissance art and connected Eastern to Western Europe. Drs. Arensberg and Halkia will also talk briefly about their experiences during the preparation of the exhibition, a rare and behind-the-scenes opportunity for the audience.

The presentation will start and end with Byzantine hymns performed by the Choir of Saint Sophia’s Cathedral Greek Orthodox Church under the direction of Master Chanter George Theodoridis.  The hymns will be from the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.

January 16, 2014, Time: 6:00-7:00 PM
Performance/Presentation with time for questions from the audience.
7:00-7:30 PM
Reception will follow: an opportunity for the audience to interact with the presenters.

Delegation of the European Union
to the United States
Press Room
2175 K Street NW
Washington DC 20037

Bios of the presenters:
Susan Arensberg
Susan Arensberg received her BA from Smith College, her MA from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and her Ph.D from Johns Hopkins University  in the field of Medieval and Byzantine Art.  She worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, the Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Paris, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston before joining the staff of the National Gallery of Art in 1986 where she is head of the department of exhibition programs.

Eugenia Chalkia
Eugenia Chalkia is Director Emerita of Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens. She studied Archaeology in the National Kapodistrian University of Athens. She completed an M.A and a PhD in Early Christian Archaeology at the Pontificial Institute of Christian Archaeology, Rome. She worked as curator and director in the Byzantine and Christian Museum (Athens), and in the Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of Epirus (Ioannina), as curator in the Ephorate of Attica (Athens), and as director in the Ephorate of Messenia (Kalamata). She coordinated many exhibitions on Byzantine Art and Culture. She conducted excavations in Epirus and in Attica. She is the author of several books and many articles on Early Christian Archaeology. She is a member of the Organizing Committee of the exhibition ‘Heaven and Earth” and co-editor of the book ‘Heaven and Earth. Cities and Countryside in Byzantine Greece”

Image: Icon of the archange Michael, first half of 14th century, tempera and gold on wood. Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens.

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