Manhattan Does Medieval: NYC Cloisters
Met Cloisters: A Closer Look
A specialist in Renaissance and Baroque art, Irina Oryshkevich teaches art and architectural history at Columbia University where she also earned her PhD in 2003. She has published numerous articles in her field, worked for several New York Old Master galleries, and received fellowships for her academic work from the National Gallery in Washington, the Fulbright Foundation, the Getty, the Society of Fellows and the Italian Academy (both at Columbia) and the American Philosophical Society. In addition to teaching in her area of specialization, Irina, a native New Yorker with a deep interest in local history, has been offering a class on the architecture of New York City at Columbia for the past four years.
Louis Mazzari has taught American history, art, and literature for a dozen years in Istanbul, Turkey, at Bogazici University, the country’s most renowned university, and he now also teaches in the City University of New York system. He has published books and articles on the cultural and political history of the U.S. with the university presses of LSU, Yale, and South Carolina. His New York work has included a study of the documentary aesthetic of photographer Berenice Abbott. Mazzari previously served as managing editor of the anthropology journal Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, and he worked on the editorial staff of the Harvard Educational Review. His years in a variety of classrooms have focused on the intersection of the artwork and its cultural history, and he speaks to American art’s profusion and its diversity of intentions and effects. That mix of art and culture is at the center of his presentation of the abundance of the Met’s American Wing.
Berfu has a master’s degree in art history from Hunter College and has studied abroad in Rome, Paris,and London. She specializes in medieval art and has been lecturing at the Met Cloisters for the past thirteen years. She has been an adjunct professor of art history for the past decade at CUNY Kingsborough, St. John’s University, and most recently, at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Besides her love for all things medieval, Berfu also has an interest in nineteenth-century NYC history. She’s worked as a preservation and restoration volunteer of nineteen century mausoleums and tomb sculpture at Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn, and recently curated an exhibition about the art of mourning in nineteenth-century America.
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