Dr. Ronald Marchese will discuss his recent research in Constantinople/Istanbul with a talk on “Art and Society: Armenian Constantinople” at 7:30 PM on Thursday, January 30, 2014. This Leon S. Peters Foundation Lecture will be held in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191, on the Fresno State campus and is part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2014 Lecture Series.

Dr. Marchese is professor of ancient history and archaeology at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and has spent the last several years documenting the rich cultural history of the Armenians in Constantinople, by studying the works of arts that the Armenians produced. He will accompany his talk with slides of some of the artwork that he has catalogued.

Prior to the establishment of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Armenian population of the city and its surrounding districts had little visible religious representation. Those Armenians that existed in the city, perhaps a larger population than previously believed, adopted Byzantine manners and customs in order to assimilate to the dominant Greek culture of the city.

After 1453 the Armenians of the city grew in number, status, and prestige – certainly evident in the increased immigration to the city after the devastation and annexation of eastern Anatolia.
In many respects, the revitalization of the city is due to many reasons, but it is likely that the energy and creative talents of Armenian immigrants had a profound affect on this process.

After 1700 this is clearly seen in the second great artistic awakening of Armenian culture, which defined the “Constantinople Style of Religious and Secular Art.” The artistic achievements of the Armenian community are not without a social context. It is through the art of the Armenian community that much new information about the city’s population is explored as well.
The lecture will present illustrated examples of this “Constantinople Style.”

Dr. Marchese received his Ph.D. from New York University and has a distinguished career in archaeology, having conducted research at the Plataiai Archaeological Excavation in Greece and at Tel Dor in Israel. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters in the field. He is an alumnus of California State University, Fresno.

He is the author, together with Marlene Breu, of Splendor and Spectacle: The Armenian Orthodox Church Textile Collections of Istanbul (Çitlembik Ltd., Istanbul, 2010).
The lecture is free and open to the public.

Free parking is available in Lots A or J on campus, adjacent to the University Business Center, only if a parking pass is obtained by using code 273406 in any of the campus kiosks.
For more information on the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669.

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