For over a thousand years the Byzantine Emperor ruled as God's regent of earth. The decisions of the individuals who sat on the throne had repercussions throughout the Byzantine world and far beyond. Decrees, letters, judgments, and commands left Constantinople every day signed by the emperor in red ink and secured with the imperial seal. The designs of the imperial seals provide an insight into the minds and policies of the rulers whose image they bore; they tell us not only how they wished to be viewed by the recipients of their letters, but also how they viewed themselves.
One hundred twenty seven Byzantine coins, one for each Byzantine emperor, plus the few usurpers who struck coins are presented in this online exhibition. All the objects have been selected from the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Coin Collection in order to present the viewer with a glimpse into one of the largest Byzantine coin collections in the world.
This online resource commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of Philip Johnson’s Pre-Columbian pavilion at Dumbarton Oaks. Johnson’s architectural masterpiece opened in 1963 and is now seen as a seminal building in his late 1950s’ shift from International Style modernism to Postmodern classicism. Despite this recognition, the Johnson wing has been little discussed or studied. This anniversary year provides an excellent opportunity to commemorate the Pre-Columbian collection’s impressive housing—arguably a work of art in its own right.