Greek & Byzantine Art & Culture



An Archaeologist’s Eye: The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab

This exhibition was organized by the Fairfield University Art Museum, Creighton University and the Timken Museum of Art, 2014-2017. Venues: Greek Consulate General in New York City, the Greek Embassy, Georgia Museum of Art/University of Georgia, Lied Art Gallery/ Creighton University, Hallie Ford Museum of Art/Willamette University, Timken Museum of Art, Phillips Museum of Art/Franklin & Marshall College, Texas A & M University, the Parthenon in Nashville.




Hair in the Classical World

This exhibition at the Fairfield Univesrity Art Museum, fall 2015, explores the technique and meaning of hair in ancient Greece, Cyprus and Rome. Male and female uses of hair, rites of passage and societal norms are examined through a selection of loan objects from museums in the Northeast. Programming includes a symposium, guest lectures, gallery talks and demonstrations of ancient hairstyles.

Close up of a statue showing the hair style details.



Gifts from Athens

Our first temporary exhibition in the Fairfield University Art Museum Bellarmine Gallery, (November 2- December 17, 2010), this show featured eight plaster casts from the First Ephorate – Acropolis Museum, Athens (2010) and 23 black and white photographs by the renowned Athenian photographer Socratis Mavrommatis (2008). The exhibition reflected on the theme of gifts in the sense of Athens as the source of inspiration, such as Greek mythological themes in Renaissance art, and contemporary drawings inspired by Parthenon sculpture.

Close up of a very old sculpture.


An Archaeologist’s Eye: Photographs and Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab

(October 20 – November 6, 2009), Lukacs Gallery, Fairfield University


The Creative Photograph in Archaeology

A shot of one of the pieces in The Creative Photograph in Archaeology exhibit.

“The Creative Photography in Archaeology" exhibition brought together for the first time new ways of seeing archaeological sites, monuments, and sculpture – from the invention of photography to the present day. These photographs, made from high-resolution scans of original negatives in Greek archives, explore the creative artistic intention of photographers. The exhibition, curated by Costis Antoniadis and organized by Socratis Mavrommatis and the Benaki Museum in Athens, (in collaboration with Fairfield University), opened at the Walsh Art Gallery in 2007. It then traveled to the Kouros Gallery (NYC), University of Maryland–Baltimore County, Texas A&M, Georgetown University, and California State University at Sacramento.



The Athenian Acropolis Restoration Project: Photographs by Socratis Mavrommatis

This exhibition, which opened at the Walsh Art Gallery, Fairfield University in 2004, traveled to Lawrence University, the Nashville Parthenon, the University of Maryland–Baltimore County, the University of Mississippi, Texas A&M, and the University of Notre Dame. The photographic panels are now on permanent public display in 2 academic buildings on Fairfield’s campus: Bannow Hall (first floor) and Canisius Hall (ground floor).




Fairfield University Art Museum

Students and locals enjoying the Fairfield University Art Museum.

The Fairfield University Art Museum (FUAM) encompasses galleries devoted to the permanent collection and focused, rotating exhibitions in Bellarmine Hall, and the Walsh Gallery for special exhibitions in the Quick Center for the Arts. It is an essential academic and cultural resource that brings art to the students, faculty and staff of Fairfield University and to the residents of Fairfield County and beyond. The museum celebrates the highest forms of human creativity and offers rich opportunities to its visitors for meaningful, first-hand experience of original works of art, while championing the unique historical resonance that attaches to every object. The small but choice permanent collection features European and American paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, as well as a group of Asian, African and Pre-Columbian objects. This is augmented by antiquities and medieval objects on long-term loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Penn Museum, and the American Numismatic Society and select European paintings and objects borrowed from private collectors. Complementing the permanent collection, a robust and varied exhibition program showcases works of art in all media from a broad swathe of time periods and world cultures, ancient to contemporary. FUAM expressly undertakes to make art accessible to underserved populations through outreach, free admission, and free public programs, and to partner with local schools and cultural institutions to foster engagement in the arts for all audiences. Long-term loans from Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Medieval Art and Cloisters Museum include examples of Byzantine art. Contact: Dr. Linda Wolk-Simon, Director,, 203-254-4000 ext. 4046


Plaster Cast Collection at Fairfield University

The University’s Plaster Cast Collection represents works of art from the Classical world through the Renaissance, with an emphasis on ancient Greece and the Parthenon. The collection also includes a remarkable model of the western narthex of Hagia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom), which was first displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1917. The majority of the casts have been either lent to the University on a long-term, renewable loan basis or gifted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Additional gifts, made by individuals and institutions include eight casts for the Fairfield University Museum Bellarmine Galleries from the First Ephorate–Acropolis Museum in Athens and Yale University Art Gallery. A third of  the collection is installed in the Fairfield University Art Museum “cast” corridor for regular viewing. A selection of casts can be seen in the Quick Center lobby, DiMenna-Nyselius Library lower level and the Walsh Athletic Center. The majority of the collection is located in Loyola 14, where the casts can be displayed and studied by students and visitors.

A plaster cast statue in the Fairfield U Art Museum.


Curator, Dr. Katherine Schwab, 203-254-4000 ext. 2439


The Caryatid Hairstyling Project and DVD

A Fairfield U student showing off her Carytid hairstyle

The Caryatid Hairstyling Project, spearheaded by Dr. Katherine Schwab, was conducted at Fairfield University in April 2009. The project tested the reality or fantasy of these hairstyles with student volunteers serving as models while a professional hairstylist recreated the individual hairstyles of the Caryatids or maidens (korai), which stand in place of columns in the South Porch of the Erechtheion on the Athenian Acropolis. Visit to view photos of the hairstyling and selected resources (including links to interviews and publications), see a clip, or purchase a copy of the DVD. Featured in To BHMA, April 14, 2010.


Parthenon Drawings by Katherine Schwab, Ph.D.

Dr. Schwab’s research drawings of the Parthenon East and North Metopes were requested by the Acropolis Museum as high resolution scans so that they could be placed on permanent display in that institution’s Parthenon Gallery. View of East end of Parthenon Gallery with the grayscale scans below the east metopes here:


Byzantine Art and Culture at Fairfield
Model of Narthex of Hagia Sophia

Byzantine Art and Culture at Fairfield Model of Narthex of Hagia Sophia: This ninety-year old model reproduces a section of one of the world’s most important buildings, the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Hagia Sophia was commissioned in 532 C.E. by Byzantine emperor Justinian and built by mathematicians Isidorus of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. Fairfield’s model replicates the western narthex outside the central naos, including the Imperial Gate through which the patriarch and emperor would enter together. Above this door is a painted reproduction of the church’s ca. 900 A.D. mosaic depicting an emperor (possibly Leo VI) kneeling before Christ enthroned. The model, built by artist Dwight Franklin, was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1917, and was given to the university in 2006. It is not currently on display.

Inside the Fairfield Model of Narthex of Hagia Sophia, a church in ancient Constantinople.


Byzantine Art in the Bellarmine Hall Galleries

Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art through September 2016:


Medallion with St. Nicholas, 11th century, Byzantine

St. Nicholas, fourth-century Bishop of Myra, is the patron saint of children, sailors, prisoners awaiting execution, and pawnbrokers among others. On the medallion, he is giving a sign of blessing. Byzantine goldsmiths developed tools and a precise technique to create some of the finest enamels. Cloisonné enamels are made by filling small cells formed by gold wire, called cloisons, with glass powder and firing in a kiln. Here, St. Nicholas is made from eight distinct colors— ten colors are the maximum seen in one enameled image in the Byzantine period.

Unlike other medallions that would have been worn around the neck, the drilled holes show that this would have been fastened to the cover of a religious book, framing a central icon image. It was probably created in a monastery in the country of Georgia.



Ostraka (pl.) are pieces of rock, pottery, or bone that feature writing. Limestone, as used for this ostrakon, was popular during the Early Christian period in Egypt as a readily available alternative to papyrus, which was more expensive and more difficult to obtain. The inscription, a homily by St. Athanasius, is written in the Coptic language. This ostrakon likely had its origins in a monastery where it was used for educational purposes of practicing writing and learning theology. The ostrakon is from a period when Egypt played a central role in Christianity. Saint Athanasius was a fourth-century Bishop of Alexandria and theologian known for his role in defining Christian teaching. He was a strong opponent of Arianism, a belief (declared heretical) that denied the Trinity by asserting that the son of God was lesser than the Father. Athanasius was part of the council that wrote the Nicene Creed, asserting the consubstantiality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Eastern Orthodoxy, he is known as the "Father of Orthodoxy."


Hellenic Culture:

Orthodox Christian Fellowship Chapter at Fairfield University Inaugurated December 2010 by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios.


Fairfield Alumna Monica Mosho ’13, descendant of Grigorios Papaflessas


Notable Fairfield Alumni

Monica Mosho '13, descendant of Grigorios Papaflessas

Rev. Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos, Director (Class of 1996)
Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music
Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Office of the Archbishop


Ancient Greek and Byzantine Art and Culture Course Offerings

AH111 Greek Art and Archaeology, Dr. Katherine Schwab
AH 115 The Archaeology of Athens, Dr. Katherine Schwab
AH 209 The Metropolitan Museum of Art Plaster Cast Collection, Dr. Katherine Schwab
AH 210 Myth in Classical Art, Dr. Katherine Schwab
AH 222 Byzantine Art, Dr. Marice Rose
AH 330 Senior Art History Capstone Seminar Topics, Dr. Katherine Schwab
The Parthenon; Ancient Greek Art – Its Definition and Its Legacy;
Internationalism and Introspection – Case Studies from Ancient Greece to Modern Japan
CL 103 Masterpieces of Greek Literature in English Translation, Dr. Vincent Rosivach
CL 115 Greek Civilization, Dr. Vincent Rosivach and Dr. Giovanni Ruffini
CL 121 Myth in Classical Literature, Dr. Vincent Rosivach
CL 123 Women in Classical Literature, Dr. Sara Brill
GR 11 Elementary Attic Greek, Dr. Vincent Rosivach
GR 101 – 102 Intermediate Greek Readings, Dr. Vincent Rosivach
GR 325 – 328 Advanced Greek Readings, Dr. Vincent Rosivach
HI 221 The Hellenistic World, Dr. Giovanni Ruffini
HI 301 Greece, Rome, and Africa Dr. Giovanni Ruffini
HI 302 Athenian Democracy and Empire, Dr. Giovanni Ruffini
PH 200 Ancient Philosophy, Dr. Ryan Drake
PH 236 Plato, Dr. Sara Brill
PH 237 Aristotle, Dr. Sara Brill
PH 286 Philosophy and Tragedy, Dr. Sara Brill