Benjamin Anderson’s recently published “Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art” (Yale University Press, 2017) has won the 2018 Charles Rufus Morey Book Award of the College Art Association (CAA). The award honors an especially distinguished book in the history of art, published in the English language.
“Cosmos and Community” presents the first comparative study of cosmological art between 700 and 1000 A.D. and details what distinguished such imagery in each of three cultural spheres – the Frankish empire of Western Europe, the Byzantine empire and the Islamic empire in the Middle East. As each of the medieval cultures diverged from their Greco-Roman roots and established their own artistic traditions, cosmic imagery provided continuity, though the images’ local meanings varied widely.
An assistant professor in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies, Anderson studies the visual and material cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and adjacent landmasses, with a particular focus on late antique and Byzantine art and architecture. His forthcoming book, “The Tragic Image: Fate and Form from Byzantium to the Baroque,” will address the "Oracles of Leo the Wise" and related oracular images. He publishes regularly on the history of archaeology and the urban history of Constantinople.