Designing Identity

Cover photograph © Bruce M. White, 201? "This is a significant work. Designing Identity presents and discusses choice examples of Late Antique fabrics from American museums and introduces this little-known corpus to a wider public.

Author: Professor Tzvetan Todorov

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691169422

Category: Art

Page: 152

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Ideals of character and beauty, and conceptions of self and society, were in flux during Late Antiquity, a period of extensive dramatic cultural upheaval for the Roman world, as the extraordinary growth of Christianity eclipsed paganism. Textiles from Late Antiquity document transformations of cultural traditions and societal values at the most intimate level of the individual body and the home. These textile artifacts are fragile, preserved only in arid conditions, often in fragments, and only rarely intact. The textiles selected for the exhibition Designing Identity at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World present an aesthetic of vibrant colors, fine materials, technical virtuosity of professional production, and variations on designs that display personal identity in the clothing of men, women, and children, as well as hopes for prosperity and protection in the textile furnishings of households. Prized for their artistry since the earliest discoveries beginning at the turn of the nineteenth century, such textiles were eagerly collected by designers, artists, scholars, museums, and captains of industry. This exhibition catalogue explores the parallel histories of ancient textile production and consumption, and the modern business of collecting Late Antique textiles. Contributors include Jennifer Ball, Edward Bleiberg, Kathrin Colburn, Helen Evans, Christine Kondoleon, Brandie Ratliff, Thelma Thomas, and Elizabeth Williams. Exhibition schedule: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World New York University February 25, 2016 - May 22, 2016 http://isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions/design-identity
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Textiles of Late Antiquity

Arranged in sections such as concrete, wood, stone metal, plastic, ceramic, paint, moisture barriers, sealants, and glass, provides information on specification and performance for over 200 architectural building materials.

Author: Annemarie Stauffer

Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art

ISBN: 9780870997686

Category: Design

Page: 48

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Daily Life in Late Antiquity

Readers interested in the general history of ancient medicine, including that of Late Antiquity, should consult H. King, ... and Auspicious Motifs,” in Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity (Princeton, 2016), pp.

Author: Kristina Sessa

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521766104

Category: History

Page: 256

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This book introduces readers to lived experience in the Late Roman Empire, from c.250-600 CE.
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The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Art and Architecture

In Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity, edited by T. Thomas, 20–53 (Princeton). Thomas, T. 2019. “The Honorific Mantle as Furnishing for the Household Memory Theater in Late Antiquity: A Case Study from the ...

Author: Ellen C. Schwartz

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190277352

Category: Architecture

Page: 664

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"This handbook offers a wide-ranging introduction to the richness and diversity of the arts in the Byzantine world. It includes thirty-eight essays by international authors, from prominent researchers to emerging scholars, on various issues and media. Discussions consider art created for religious purposes, to enhance and beautify the Orthodox liturgy and worship space, as well as art made to serve in royal and domestic contexts. While Byzantium is defined as the years 330-1453 CE, some chapters treat the aftermath and influence of Byzantine art on later periods. Arts covered include buildings and objects from the Eastern Mediterranean region, including the Balkans, Russia, North Africa, and the Near East. The volume brings together object-based considerations of themes and monuments which form the backbone of art history, with considerations drawing on many different methodologies-sociology, semiotics, anthropology, archaeology, reception theory, deconstruction theory, among others-all in an up-to-date synthesis of scholarship on Byzantine art and architecture. The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Art and Architecture is a comprehensive overview of a rich field of study, offering a window into the world of this distinct and fascinating period of art"--
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Perceptions of the Body and Sacred Space in Late Antiquity and Byzantium

Among recent books, see, for example, Thelma K. Thomas et al., Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016); Maureen C. Miller, Clothing the Clergy: Virtue and Power in ...

Author: Jelena Bogdanovic

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351359603

Category: History

Page: 240

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Perceptions of the Body and Sacred Space in Late Antiquity and Byzantium seeks to reveal Christian understanding of the body and sacred space in the medieval Mediterranean. Case studies examine encounters with the holy through the perspective of the human body and sensory dimensions of sacred space, and discuss the dynamics of perception when experiencing what was constructed, represented, and understood as sacred. The comparative analysis investigates viewers’ recognitions of the sacred in specific locations or segments of space with an emphasis on the experiential and conceptual relationships between sacred spaces and human bodies. This volume thus reassesses the empowering aspects of space, time, and human agency in religious contexts. By focusing on investigations of human endeavors towards experiential and visual expressions that shape perceptions of holiness, this study ultimately aims to present a better understanding of the corporeality of sacred art and architecture. The research points to how early Christians and Byzantines teleologically viewed the divine source of the sacred in terms of its ability to bring together – but never fully dissolve – the distinctions between the human and divine realms. The revealed mechanisms of iconic perception and noetic contemplation have the potential to shape knowledge of the meanings of the sacred as well as to improve our understanding of the liminality of the profane and the sacred.
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Fashion History

(2016), Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Thomas, T. K. (2016), “Material Meaning in Late Antiquity,” in T. K. Thomas (ed.), Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in ...

Author: Linda Welters

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781474253659

Category: Design

Page: 248

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Fashion History: A Global View proposes a new perspective on fashion history. Arguing that fashion has occurred in cultures beyond the West throughout history, this groundbreaking book explores the geographic places and historical spaces that have been largely neglected by contemporary fashion studies, bringing them together for the first time. Reversing the dominant narrative that privileges Western Europe in the history of dress, Welters and Lillethun adopt a cross-cultural approach to explore a vast array of cultures around the globe. They explore key issues affecting fashion systems, ranging from innovation, production and consumption to identity formation and the effects of colonization. Case studies include the cross-cultural trade of silk textiles in Central Asia, the indigenous dress of the Americas and of Hawai'i, the cosmetics of the Tang Dynasty in China, and stylistic innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. Examining the new lessons that can be deciphered from archaeological findings and theoretical advancements, the book shows that fashion history should be understood as a global phenomenon, originating well before and beyond the fourteenth century European court, which is continually, and erroneously, cited as fashion's birthplace. Providing a fresh framework for fashion history scholarship, Fashion History: A Global View will inspire inclusive dress narratives for students and scholars of fashion, anthropology, and cultural studies.
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Moment of Reckoning

... Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016); on catacombs, Nicola Denzey Lewis, The Bone Gatherers: The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women (Boston: Beacon Press, ...

Author: Ellen Muehlberger

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190459178

Category: Religion

Page: 336

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Late antiquity saw a proliferation of Christian texts dwelling on the emotions and physical sensations of dying, not as a heroic martyr in a public square or a judge's court, but as an individual, at home in a bed or in a private room. In sermons, letters, and ascetic traditions, late ancient Christians imagined the last minutes of life and the events that followed death in elaborate detail. The majority of these imagined scenarios linked the quality of the experience to the moral state of the person who died. Death was no longer the "happy ending," in Judith Perkins's words, it had been to Christians of the first three centuries, an escape from the difficult and painful world. Instead, death was most often imagined as a terrifying, desperate experience. This book is the first to trace how, in late ancient Christianity, death came to be thought of as a moment of reckoning: a physical ordeal whose pain is followed by an immediate judgment of one's actions by angels and demons and, after that, fitting punishment. Because late ancient Christian culture valued the use of the imagination as a religious tool and because Christian teachers encouraged Christians to revisit the prospect of their deaths often, this novel description of death was more than an abstract idea. Rather, its appearance ushered in a new ethical sensibility among Christians, in which one's death was to be imagined frequently and anticipated in detail. This was, at first glance, meant as a tool for individuals: preachers counted on the fact that becoming aware of a judgment arriving at the end of one's life tends to sharpen one's scruples. But, as this book argues, the change in Christian sensibility toward death did not just affect individuals. Once established, it shifted the ethics of Christianity as a tradition. This is because death repeatedly and frequently imagined as the moment of reckoning created a fund of images and ideas about what constituted a human being and how variances in human morality should be treated. This had significant effects on the Christian assumption of power in late antiquity, especially in the case of the capacity to authorize violence against others. The thinking about death traced here thus contributed to the seemingly paradoxical situation in which Christians proclaimed their identity with a crucified person, yet were willing to use force against their ideological opponents.
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The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art

Christine Kondoleon, “Late Antique Textiles at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Expanded Vistas,” in Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity, ed. Thelma K. Thomas (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, ...

Author: Robin M. Jensen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317514176

Category: History

Page: 398

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The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art surveys a broad spectrum of Christian art produced from the late second to the sixth centuries. The first part of the book opens with a general survey of the subject and then presents fifteen essays that discuss specific media of visual art—catacomb paintings, sculpture, mosaics, gold glass, gems, reliquaries, ceramics, icons, ivories, textiles, silver, and illuminated manuscripts. Each is written by a noted expert in the field. The second part of the book takes up themes relevant to the study of early Christian art. These seven chapters consider the ritual practices in decorated spaces, the emergence of images of Christ’s Passion and miracles, the functions of Christian secular portraits, the exemplary mosaics of Ravenna, the early modern history of Christian art and archaeology studies, and further reflection on this field called “early Christian art.” Each of the volume’s chapters includes photographs of many of the objects discussed, plus bibliographic notes and recommendations for further reading. The result is an invaluable introduction to and appraisal of the art that developed out of the spread of Christianity through the late antique world. Undergraduate and graduate students of late classical, early Christian, and Byzantine culture, religion, or art will find it an accessible and insightful orientation to the field. Additionally, professional academics, archivists, and curators working in these areas will also find it valuable as a resource for their own research, as well as a textbook or reference work for their students.
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Christianizing Egypt

Thomas, Thelma K. Late Antique Egyptian Funerary Sculpture: Images for This World and for the Next. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000. ———. “Material Meaning in Late Antiquity.” In Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles ...

Author: David Frankfurter

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691216782

Category: History

Page: 336

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How does a culture become Christian, especially one that is heir to such ancient traditions and spectacular monuments as Egypt? This book offers a new model for envisioning the process of Christianization by looking at the construction of Christianity in the various social and creative worlds active in Egyptian culture during late antiquity. As David Frankfurter shows, members of these different social and creative worlds came to create different forms of Christianity according to their specific interests, their traditional idioms, and their sense of what the religion could offer. Reintroducing the term “syncretism” for the inevitable and continuous process by which a religion is acculturated, the book addresses the various formations of Egyptian Christianity that developed in the domestic sphere, the worlds of holy men and saints’ shrines, the work of craftsmen and artisans, the culture of monastic scribes, and the reimagination of the landscape itself, through processions, architecture, and the potent remains of the past. Drawing on sermons and magical texts, saints’ lives and figurines, letters and amulets, and comparisons with Christianization elsewhere in the Roman empire and beyond, Christianizing Egypt reconceives religious change—from the “conversion” of hearts and minds to the selective incorporation and application of strategies for protection, authority, and efficacy, and for imagining the environment.
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Church Building in Cyprus Fourth to Seventh Centuries

Schrenk 2009 = Sabine Schrenk, '(Wall-)Hangings Depicted in Late Antique Works of Art? The Question of Function', in: Antoine De Moor – Cäcilia ... Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity (Princeton 2016) 21–40.

Author: Marietta Horster

Publisher: Waxmann Verlag

ISBN: 9783830987918

Category: History

Page: 300

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Some hundred early Christian churches are attested on Cyprus, dating from the fourth to seventh centuries.Their architectural remains have shaped the Cypriot landscape.The peculiar evolution of the features of the Cypriot church gave rise to a scientific discussion on how to evaluate these specific local developments. In the last decade, individual research as well as conferences and workshops dedicated to late antiquity and the early Byzantine period have contributed towards a new approach and a new impulse for the study of this period in Cyprus.The volume reinforces and furthers this trend taking into consideration relevant parameters reflected on the architectural planning, such as structural knowledge and innovations, cultic behaviours, liturgical traditions, economic capacities, social and political aspirations. Based on current developments in research, new findings in Cyprus and the focus on intercultural contacts, the volume is organised into four different sections: 1) Building the Christian cityscape and landscape; 2) Christian communities and church building, fourth to seventh centuries; 3) Interior arrangement and theological concepts; 4) 'International Byzantine Style'? Local traditions and adaptations in- and outside Cyprus.
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