Robert Nelson, the Robert Lehman Professor in the History of Art at Yale University, studies and teaches medieval art, mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as 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. His book, Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950 (2004), asks how the cathedral of Constantinople, once ignored or despised, came to be regarded as one of the great monuments of world architecture. 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.
The Katherine Tsanoff Brown Lecture Series, in its inaugural year, is made possible through the generous support of The Katherine Brown Fund. The series honors Katherine Tsanoff Brown, Rice University's first teacher of art history, later the Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, and an ardent supporter of public lectures and visiting scholars in the arts even after her retirement from Rice University in 1989.