The Visual Past
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Survivor Objects and the Lost World of Ottoman Armenians

Episode 407 with Heghnar Watenpaughhosted by Emily Neumeier Download the podcast Feed | iTunes | GooglePlay | SoundCloud The genre of biography usually applies to people, but could a similar approach be applied to an object? Can a thing have a life of its own? In this episode, Heghnar Watenpaugh explores this question by tracing the long journey of the Zeytun Gospels, a famous illuminated manuscript considered to be a masterpiece of medieval Armenian art. Protected for centuries in a remote church in eastern Anatolia, the sacred book traveled with the waves of people displaced by the Armenian genocide. Passed from hand to hand, caught in the chaos of the First World War, it was divided in two. Decades later, the manuscript found its way to the Republic of Armenia, while its missing eight pages came to the Getty Museum in LA. In this interview, we discuss how the Zeytun Gospels could be understood as a "survivor object," contributing to current discussions about the destruction of cultural heritage. We also talk about the challenges of writing history for a broader reading public. « Click for More »

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