Skip directly to main navigation | secondary navigation | main content

History of Art

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell University History of Art and Visual Studies

Benjamin Anderson

Amazon Cast Danielle Mericle


Detail: Aids for the Deaf

Indonesian Clay Dolls

Tapestry by Pieter van Aelst


Detail: Battle between the conquering Mongols and the Muslim population of Iran


Detail: Beyond the Taj


Detail: Eave hanging (ider-ider) with scenes from Butterfly L

japan detail

Detail: Three Laughers of the Tiger Glen


Detail: Le Ventre Legislatif


Detail: El Regreso del Canibal Macrobiotico


Forgotten Dream


Detail: Moche Panel Fragment with Four Figur

sea gods

Detail: Battle of the Sea Gods

The dream and lies of franco

Detail: The Dream and Lie of Franco


Fields in the Month of June

Previous ImageNext Image

Benjamin Anderson

Assistant Professor

room: Goldwin Smith Hall, G35B

Benjamin Anderson


Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College

Graduate Fields:

History of Art
Medieval Studies
Near Eastern Studies

Research Overview

I study the visual and material cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and adjacent landmasses, with a particular focus on late antique and Byzantine art and architecture. My first book, Cosmos and community in early medieval art (forthcoming from Yale University Press), analyzes the reception of ancient techniques for imaging the cosmos. The second, Image as oracle from Byzantium to the Baroque, will address the invention of the image of the future and its consequences. In addition to those larger projects, I maintain active interests in the efficacy of forms, non-professional interpreters of ancient art, the urban history of Constantinople, and the later medieval architecture of Anatolia.

Courses Taught

ARTH 3226 Art of Late Antiquity
ARTH 3270 Constantinople / Istanbul, 330-1556
ARTH 4100 Proseminar – Introduction to Methods
ARTH 4350/6350 Faces of Power
ARTH 4351/6351 Problems in Byzantine Art (e.g. "Ravenna," “Hagia Sophia,” and "Byzantine Iconoclasm")
ARTH 4352/6352 Medieval Cosmologies: Text, Image, and Music

Selected Publications

"The disappearing imperial statue: towards a social approach," in Troels Myrup Kristensen and Lea M. Stirling, eds., The afterlife of classical sculpture: late antique responses and practices (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming).

"'An alternative discourse': local interpreters of antiquities in the Ottoman Empire," Journal of Field Archaeology 40 (2015), 450-460.

"Public clocks in late antique and early medieval Constantinople," Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 64 (2014), 23-32.

“The complex of Elvan Çelebi: problems in fourteenth-century architecture,” Muqarnas 31 (2014), 73-97.

"Classified knowledge: the epistemology of statuary in the Parastaseis Syntomoi Chronikai," Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 35 (2011), 1-19.

"Leo III and the Anemodoulion," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 104 (2011), 41-54.

Selected Lectures and Presentations (since 2012)

"How to do things with boars," 24-25 April, New Antiquity IV: The Embodied Object, Stanford University.

"The Throne of Khosrow: Cosmos and Empire between Antiquity and the Middle Ages," 13-16 April 2015, Medieval Spring Lecture Series, University of New Mexico.

"The Prussian tondo," 5 March 2015, I tondi con imperatore bizantino a Venezia e a Washington, D.C., Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani, Venice.

"Port-au-Prince and Constantinople: a tale of two pigs." 19 November 2014, Amherst College.

"Architecture and images." 14-16 May 2014, Transforming Sacred Spaces: New Approaches to Byzantine Ecclesiastical Architecture from the Transitional Period, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich.

"Topographie und Entfremdung im spätantiken Konstantinopel." 13 May 2014, Verein Spätantike und Byzantinische Kunstgeschichte, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich.

“The efficacy of Byzantine statues between practice and theory.” 28-29 March 2014, Medieval Art History after the Interdisciplinary Turn, University of Notre Dame.

“‘We don’t know where the palace is’: topography and alienation in late antique Constantinople.” 6-8 March 2014, Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Tennessee.

"Population density and social stratification in fifth-century Constantinople." 31 October - 3 November 2013, 39th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference, Yale University.

“The right to interpret.” 19 April 2013, New Antiquity III: Conditions of Visibility, Clark Art Institute.

“How to use the zodiac.” 15 March 2013, Conference on Maps and Diagrams, Index of Christian Art, Princeton University.