6100 Main St, Houston, TX 77005, United States
In 1969 Nelson got a Bachelor of Arts from Rice University.
New York, NY 10003, United States
Nelson holds a Master of Arts (1973) and a Doctor of Philosophy (1978) from New York University.
(Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, sits majesticall...)
Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, sits majestically atop the plateau that commands the straits separating Europe and Asia. Located near the acropolis of the ancient city of Byzantium, this unparalleled structure has enjoyed an extensive and colorful history, as it has successively been transformed into a cathedral, mosque, monument, and museum. In Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950, Robert S. Nelson explores its many lives. Built from 532 to 537 as the Cathedral of Constantinople, Hagia Sophia was little studied and seldom recognized as a great monument of world art until the nineteenth century, and Nelson examines the causes and consequences of the building's newly elevated status during that time. He chronicles the grand dome's modern history through a vibrant cast of characters - emperors, sultans, critics, poets, archaeologists, architects, philanthropists, and religious congregations - some of whom spent years studying it, others never visiting the building. But as Nelson shows, they all had a hand in the recreation of Hagia Sophia as a modern architectural icon. By any means and for its own purposes, the West has conceptually transformed Hagia Sophia into the international symbol that it is today. While other books have covered the architectural history of the structure, this is the first study to address its status as a modern monument. With his narrative of the building's rebirth, Nelson captures its importance for the diverse communities that shape and find meaning in Hagia Sophia.
In 1969 Nelson got a Bachelor of Arts from Rice University. He holds a Master of Arts (1973) and a Doctor of Philosophy (1978) from New York University.
Robert S. Nelson was a professor of art history at the University of Chicago, focusing on studies of the Byzantine era. Nelson has written or edited several books on the subject of art and art history, and also served as the chair of an interdisciplinary program on the history of culture. His Critical Terms for Art History is a survey of critical issues faced by art history.
Nelson's book Visuality Before and Beyond the Renaissance: Seeing as Others Saw contains nine essays, each covering a specific time and place. Readers are taken from Mesopotamia B.C. to classical Antiquity, to China in the Middle Ages, to Western Europe during the Byzantine era, and then to modern Senegal and the art in each of these periods.
His book, Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950 asks how the cathedral of Constantinople, once ignored or despised, came to be regarded as one of the great monuments of world architecture.
Robert S. Nelson studies and teaches medieval art at Yale University, mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the history and methods of art history. He was the co-curator of Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2006-2007.
Current projects involve the history of the Greek lectionary, the reuse of Byzantine art in Venice, the social lives of illuminated Greek manuscripts in Byzantium and their reception in Renaissance Italy, and the collecting of Byzantine art in twentieth-century Europe and America.
(Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, sits majesticall...)2004
Nelson is a member of the United States National Committee for Byzantine Studies and the International Center of Medieval Art.