A special tribute to Professor Thomas F. Mathews, specialist in Armenian and Byzantine art, will take place on Thursday evening, June 10, at the Armenian Diocese in New York City. St. Nersess Armenian Seminary is co-sponsoring the event with the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Resource Center of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern).
Speaking in honor of Dr. Mathews will be Dr. Helen Evans, Curator of Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Dr. Sylvie Merian, Reference Librarian at the Pierpont Morgan Library. Serving as master of ceremonies for the evening will be St. Nersess alumnus Rev. Fr. Garabed Kochakian, Pastor of St. John's Armenian Church, Southfield, Michigan. All three are former students of Professor Mathews.
Thomas F. Mathews is John Langeloth Loeb Professor of the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. He has done extensive work on Armenian and Byzantine art and architecture. As he is now retiring from NYU and moving to France, this is an opportune time to recognize the great contributions he has made to the field of Armenian studies.
Dr. Mathews is the editor and co-author together with Avedis K. Sanjian of Armenian Gospel Iconography: The Tradition of the Glajor Gospel (Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., 1991). The first monographic study of a single Armenian manuscript, this work was a collaborative work on an illustrated Armenian gospel book of the fourteenth century owned by UCLA. Professor Mathews wrote a second volume on this gospel book together with Alice Taylor to accompany the exhibition of the Gladzor Gospel at the J. Paul Getty Museum (The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor: The Life of Christ Illuminated, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2001).
In the 1980s, Professor Mathews came up with the idea of an exhibit on Armenian illumination, book making and binding using collections in the United States. The Pierpont Morgan Library in New York enthusiastically adopted this idea, and over 60,000 visitors saw its embodiment in 1994 at the Morgan and at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. Mathews then co-edited Treasures in Heaven: Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts (1994), which is an introduction to the art and history of Armenian manuscript painting in conjunction with the exhibit. He co-organized a symposium the same year which resulted in a second volume of papers (Treasures in Heaven: Armenian Art, Religion, and Society).
Some of his articles on Armenian themes are assembled in Art and Architecture in Byzantium and Armenia: Liturgical and Exegetical Approaches (1995), while others appear in East of Byzantium: Syria and Armenia in the Formative Period (1982), which he co-edited. He is also the author of the provocative work The Clash of Gods: A Reinterpretation of Early Christian Art (1993; revised 1999), Byzantium: From Antiquity to the Renaissance (1998); The Byzantine Churches of Istanbul: A Photographic Survey (1976), and The Early Churches of Constantinople: Architecture and Liturgy (1971); Art and Religion: Faith, Form and Reform (1986).
He is a member of the Association Internationale des Etudes Armeniennes as well as the Medieval Academy of America. Among his many honors are the J. Clawson Mills Fellowship of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1996), a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, (1994), and a Hagop Kevorkian Fund research grant (1991). Dr. Mathews received his Ph.D. from NYU in 1970 in Art History.
The evening's program and reception will take place in the formal reception room (Tahlij) of the Armenian Diocese, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and complimentary, however, reservations are necessary. Please call (212) 686-0710x26 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by June 8. The Diocese is located at 630 Second Avenue (corner 34th St.), New York.