A leading expert on late antique, Byzantine, and early medieval Egyptian art, Professor Elizabeth Bolman most recently directed a wall-painting conservation project at the Red Monastery church in Upper Egypt. This award-winning project, which received support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development, the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), the Dumbarton Oaks, the NEH, and the J. William Fulbright Foundation, culminated in the wide-ranging volume The Red Monastery Church: Beauty and Asceticism in Upper Egypt (Yale, 2016). Among her new projects are Milk and Salvation: The Nursing Mother of God in the Eastern Mediterranean (contracted by Penn Press) and Monks and Images in Late Antique Egypt (forthcoming from Princeton). Educated at Smith and Bryn Mawr, Prof. Bolman comes to us from Temple University, where she was on the faculty for seventeen years.
Elizabeth S. Bolman engages with the visual culture of the eastern Mediterranean in the late antique and Byzantine periods. She is best known for her work in Egypt, in which she has demonstrated the vitality of Christian Egyptian art and presented new understandings of the nature of artistic production in the early Byzantine and Medieval periods. She edited and was the principal contributor to the award-winning Monastic Visions: Wall Paintings in the Monastery of St. Antony at the Red Sea (Yale University Press and the American Research Center in Egypt, 2002) and to The Red Monastery Church: Beauty and Asceticism in Upper Egypt (Yale University Press and the American Research Center in Egypt, 2016). This most recent book is the product of a decade-long multidisciplinary project that she founded and directed, which included the cleaning and conservation of spectacular and unparalleled early Byzantine paintings at the Red Monastery church. The conserved church has received a considerable amount of international attention; among other subjects, it includes a monumental secco painting of the Nursing Mother of God. Currently, she is completing a gender studies analysis of depictions of the Byzantine Galaktotrophousa (nursing Virgin Mary), and is preparing the Rostovtzeff Lectures which she gave at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, for publication. She was appointed Elsie B. Smith Professor in the Liberal Arts and Chair of the Department of Art History, Art and Art Education at Case Western Reserve University in August 2017, charged with building the Keithley Institute for Art History in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art, and leading the Joint Program between CWRU and the Cleveland Museum of Art. At Temple University Bolman received the Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Great Teacher Award, and the College Art Association has recognized her expertise with its Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Preservation She is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright program, National Endowment for the Humanities, Dumbarton Oaks, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the United States Agency for International Development, among others.
- Egyptian Christian monuments (ca. 5thc. - 14th c.)
- Byzantine depictions of the Galaktotrophousa (nursing Virgin Mary)
- Reconsideration of generative centers of cultural production in Byzantium
The Red Monastery Church: Beauty and Asceticism in Upper Egypt by Elizabeth S. Bolman
Monastic Visions: Wall Paintings in the Monastery of St. Antony at the Red Sea by Elizabeth S. Bolman
Lecture: “Conserving Coptic Heritage: An Historic Egyptian-American Partnership”
Cultural Property News Interview
Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews, Review of The Red Monastery Church, by David Brakke
Forbes Magazine Blog about the Red Monastery Project
LASER SCAN FLY THROUGH OF THE RED MONASTERY CHURCH by Pietro Gasparri
White Monastery Tomb (360 panoramas of two rooms)
Red Monastery Triconch
1) 360 Panorama