Fr. Cotsonis Lectures at Dumbarton Oaks
On July 12, 2019, the V. Rev. Archimandrite Joachim Cotsonis, PhD, presented a lecture on the iconography of Byzantine lead seals for the graduate students enrolled in the 2019 Byzantine Coins and Seals Summer Program at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, DC. Fr. Joachim is Director of HCHC’s Archbishop Iakovos Library and Learning Resource Center and an internationally recognized authority on the iconography of lead seals, of which the Dumbarton Oaks 17,000-specimen collection is the largest and most comprehensive in the world.
These seals offer great insight into all aspects of Byzantine studies, including art history. They offer a means of investigating the social and political use of religious images, in addition to their roles in personal piety and expressions of individual identity. Over the years, Fr. Joachim has published widely in academic journals on topics related to this material. He also participated as an iconographic consultant in the 2nd and 3rd International Sigillographic Workshops for the Digital Cataloguing of Byzantine Lead Seals at Dumbarton Oaks in 2010 and 2011. In 2015 and 2016 he was invited to spend time at Dumbarton Oaks as a research consultant focusing on their ‘iconographic’ seals for the ongoing project of the online Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Lead Seals database.
Fr. Joachim also offered a lecture at the Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church of Southampton, NY, following the Divine Liturgy on June 30. The lecture provided an exegesis of the parish’s recently installed iconographic program as part of Heaven on Earth: A Retrospective Exhibition of the Iconography and Art of George Filippakis, the parish’s iconographer. The exhibition included a display of some of his numerous icons, reflecting his extensive and prolific artistic activity over more than fifty years. Fr. Joachim had collaborated as the iconographic consultant for the mural program of the church.