Catherine C. Taylor
Catherine received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Art History (Early Christian and Byzantine art and architecture) at Brigham Young University. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Manchester, UK in December 2012. She specializes in late antique Christian iconography with emphasis on Annunciation imagery in the earliest centuries of Christianity, a study of which will be published by Brill, forthcoming. Other recent publications include a chapter in Interdisciplinary Studies in Textiles and Dress in Antiquity (Oxford: Oxbow, forthcoming 2014) and “Painted Veneration: The Priscilla Catacomb Annunciation and the Protoevangelion of James as Precedents for Late Antique Annunciation Iconography” in Peeters’ Studia Patristica. Catherine’s research interests include: the memorialization of the dead and the iconography of Christian sarcophagi; the interdisciplinary use of art and text, especially Patristic texts, in late antiquity; and the study of small, domestic-type objects like textiles, jewelry and pilgrimage tokens with Christian imagery as sources for iconographic reception. Catherine has recently started teaching New Testament classes in the Ancient Scripture Department. She will be traveling to Egypt this spring with the BYU Egypt Excavation Project where she will be analyzing some of the early Coptic textile samples from the cemetery at Fag el-Gamous in the Fayoum in preparation for future publication.
In addition to her Egypt trip, she spent time this past summer in Oxford at the Ashmolean Museum researching Coptic comparanda and in Antwerp at the Textiles of the Nile Valley conference. She presented two papers this past year at the Society of Biblical Literature conference and is slated to present a paper for the Sperry Symposium in 2014.
She has taught at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C. and in the BYU Art History Department for a combined 15 years.
As a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t want to completely lose touch with the art history and museum world so I began volunteering at the Freer Gallery about once a month. It has proven a wonderful way to get an occasional break from the dishes and diapers, to learn from a talented curator, and to view inspiring works of art. I’ve done a variety of work at the Freer, including editing information for their Explore + Learn page, testing their iPad app for the Peacock Room, and creating an inventory of portraits of James McNeill Whistler. I love staying at home with my children, and volunteering allows me to do that and still exercise my art history brain muscles as our schedule permits.
My thesis centered around the works of 18th-century Venetian artist Antonio Canaletto. With the help of Professor Magleby I secured a FLAS grant to study Italian in Venice and a department grant to conduct research in London. I can’t describe how meaningful these trips were to me. It made the research poignantly personal to learn Canaletto’s language, pore over his sketches, track down his home, and stand before his paintings as I formed and supported my thesis. It also added a new level of appreciation for his life and his work which I never could have fully attained otherwise. The opportunities I had researching Canaletto were among my greatest experiences as a student at BYU and will always be near to my heart.
I now have a new job, a two year contract as an operations manager for a design college (one that I worked for some years back). Back in 2005, this college was bought over by a local education group, INTI (who is now owned by the Laureate Education Group, USA). While I manage operations, I am also involved in the integration of the college staff, students and all records and property into its newly established design faculty on a newly built campus. It’s been a lot of technical work and a lot of problems to solve. Nonetheless, I have to ensure the entire integration is smooth. Next year, I have one added task that is, to teach an Art Appreciation module for Northwood University in INTI’s American University Program. I am looking forward to it.
Congratulations to former graduate student, Rachel Grover, who has published an article based on her master’s thesis, “Placed in Paradise: The Messianic Age Imagery of a Lion Facing a Bull in the Byzantine Church Floor Mosaics of Jordan,” Liber Annuus 62 (2012): 455-93. The Liber Annuus (an annual of about 500 pages) publishes biblical, linguistic and archaeological studies. It also includes preliminary reports on the excavations conducted by the professors of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem and their coworkers from Israeli and other scholarly institutions. The Studium Biblicum Franciscanum is the Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology of the Pontificia Universitas Antonianum in Rome. They led many of the excavations that uncovered the mosaics in her thesis.