Organized in conjunction with Sacred Visions: Nineteenth-Century Biblical Art from the Dahesh Museum Collection, on view at the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA), this symposium  will interrogate the intersection of two dramatic shifts in nineteenth-century culture. The first is the reconfiguring of biblical representation amid shifts in Bible historicism and the second is the emerging markets for buying, selling, and exhibiting biblical art amid a rise of a new middle-class art patronage. In America as well as in Europe, patronage contributed to an expanding  religious repertoire for romantic or topographical subjects and it was a distinct factor in shaping how artists understood biblical subjects.


Four distinguished scholars of nineteenth-century art history will present important research material at what will be a fascinating day for our audience.

The Symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is suggested but not required. To register, please call (212) 759-0606 or email info@, and include “Symposium” in the subject line. You may also register at MOBIA the morning of the event.

This Symposium is organized by the Dahesh Museum of Art in conjunction with the Museum of Biblical Art.

The symposium will take place Friday, January 17th.

Morning Session

10:00 AM Registration and Coffee

10:30 Welcome and Opening Remarks

Dr. David Farmer, Director, Dahesh Museum of Art

Richard P. Townsend, Director, Museum of Biblical Art

10:45 -10:55 Introduction To The Topic And Speakers

11:00 – 11:20 Dr. Virginia Raguin, College of the Holy Cross, A Post-Modern Review of Artistic Criteria: The Copy, the Tradition, the Audience

11:20 – 11:40 Dr. Joyce C. Polistena, Pratt Institute Eugène Delacroix Paints “Modern” Biblical History

11:40 – 11:55 Coffee and Tea Break

12:00 – 12:20 Dr. Kate Nichols, University of Cambridge

Poynter’s Visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, from London to Sydney, via Jerusalem, Greece, Rome, Egypt and India

12:20 – 12:30 All Panelists and Audience Q&A

12:30 – 2:15 Lunch On Your Own (a list of local restaurants will be provided)

Sacred Visions will be open for viewing

Afternoon Session

2:15 – 2:25 Introduction To Topic And Speakers

2:25 – 2:45 Dr. Laura Morowitz, Wagner College

A ‘Sermon in Paint’: The Twenty-Third Street Tabernacle and the Passion Scenes of Mihály Munkáscy

2:45 – 3:05 Discussant Dr. Jessica Basciano, University of Ottawa

3:05 – 3:30 Discussion among the Panelists, Followed by Q & A with the Audience

3:35 – 3:55 Summary

Sarah C. Schaefer, Mellon Fellow, Metropolitan Museum of Art

3:55 – 4:00 Concluding Remarks

Dr. David Farmer, Director, Dahesh Museum of Art

4:00 Reception