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Joseph Kopta

Visiting Assistant Professor


Specialist in the art and architecture of the medieval Mediterranean, with intellectual interests informed by materiality, cross-cultural interaction, pre-modern gender, and networks between Venice, Byzantium, and caliphal courts. He recently completed a dissertation in Art History titled “Materiality and Materialism of Middle Byzantine Gospel Lectionaries (Eleventh–Twelfth centuries CE)” at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University. Recent papers include “Middle Byzantine Gospel Lectionaries and Visual Experience” at the National Gallery of Art; “Aesthetics of Purple in Byzantine Manuscripts” at the University of Zurich; “Hair, Touch, and the Ivory Comb of Leo VI as an Agent of Imperial Order” at the Byzantine Studies Conference; and “Middle Byzantine Manuscript Pigments at the Byzantine Materiality Conference. In 2018 he co-organized the Italian Art Society-sponsored double panel, “Venice, Materiality, and the Byzantine World” at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI. He also co-organized the Pratt in Venice 35th Anniversary Research Symposium with colleague Diana Gisolfi in 2020, celebrating 35 years of original art historical research conducted by Pratt students. He authored the entries “Canosa di Puglia” and “Kenneth Conant” to the Grove Encyclopedia of Medieval Art & Architecture, and was a contributor to the Beth Shean After Antiquity project at the University of Pennsylvania. He has held professional roles at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Museum of Biblical Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is a faculty member of Pratt in Venice. He was the 2019–21 Kress Institutional Fellow at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich, Germany, and was a 2021–22 Center for the Humanities at Temple (CHAT) Fellow at Temple University.

Profile image: Ivory Comb of Leo VI, 886–912 CE. Museum für byzantinische Kunst, Bode Museum, Berlin (photo: Marlise G. Brown)

Ph.D., Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University; Columbia University; Harvard Divinity School; B.F.A., M.S., Pratt Institute