Inaugural Celebration for the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture
The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture has been established on the campus of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, as a result of a $3 million donation from The Jaharis Family Foundation. The Center will serve as a premier international research center for the promotion of Byzantine art and culture and host a series of academic programs including seminars, conferences, visiting scholars, special events and art programs. The inaugural celebration will take place on Saturday, October 2, 2010 from 2:00–6:30pm.
“We are thrilled that the generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation has made the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture a reality,” said the Very Reverend Dr. Joachim Cotsonis, an expert in Byzantine art history at Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Massachusetts.“ The Center will certainly enhance the educational, cultural and academic opportunities for scholars, faculty and students on campus and benefit the Boston academic community.”
“The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture will approach issues of Byzantium from the perspective of orthodox theology, scholarship and the arts,” said Dr. Helen C. Evans, a Mary Jaharis Center Administrative Board Member and curator of the Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Early Christian and Byzantine Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.“ It will be instrumental in showing how relevant Byzantium is in the modern world.”
The inaugural event will feature an exhibition of icons, curated by the Very Reverend Dr. Joachim Cotsonis, called Kontoglou: The Return of the Byzantine Icon which serves as a tribute to Photis Kontoglou, a leading figure in the revival of Byzantine style icon painting in Greece and the United States. “Early 19th century icons in Greece and America were not Byzantine in nature,” said Dr. Evans, “Kontoglou linked the Byzantine tradition to modern Orthodoxy and became a seminal figure in the revival of Greek Byzantine icon painting around the world.”
The celebration will also feature opening remarks by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, as well as comments by Dr. Evans, Dr. Ryan Preston, a specialist in the work of Kontoglou, and Nektarios Antoniou, musical director and founder of the renowned Byzantine chant group, Schola Cantorum. The celebration will culminate with a concert by Schola Cantorum led by Mr. Antoniou
The exhibition of icons will be open to the public for viewing starting, October 4 through November 5, 2010, Monday through Friday, from 10am to 5pm in the Reading Room of the Archbishop Iakovos Library Building at 50 Goddard Avenue in Brookline, Massachusetts on the campus of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
“The sacred and the secular are at the heart of the Byzantine tradition, and the Mary Jaharis Center exemplifies this spirit,” said Dr. Maria Kouroumali, Director of the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture and Assistant Professor of Byzantine Studies at Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.“ We hope the Center will serve as a focal point and resource for our two institutions and the wider academic community of the Massachusetts area, where students, faculty, scholars and anyone interested in Byzantine Studies will come together and promote learning and research in the field.”