The Department of Art History presents the 2023 Maurice Bonds Lectures in Art History lecture with guest speaker Heghnar Watenpaugh on Thursday, March 16th at 5:30pm at the Institute for Contemporary Art, 601 W Broad St, Richmond, VA.

Survivor Object: The modern life of a Medieval Manuscript, from Church to Museum

Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Davis. She researches the visual cultures of the Middle East, including architectural preservation, museums, and cultural heritage.  Her first book, on the architecture of Aleppo, Syria, received the book Award for urban history from the Society of Architectural Historians. Her second book, The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript, from Genocide to Justice, published by Stanford University Press in 2019, is the only book to win awards from both the Society for Armenian Studies and the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association.The book also won the Gold Medal in World History from the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and it was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing (non-fiction).

 Her scholarly publications have won Best Article Prizes from the Syrian Studies Association and from the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the J. Paul Getty Trust, National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright-Hays, Social Science Research Council, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, and the President of the University of California. Professor Watenpaugh has served on the boards of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Historians of Islamic Art Association, the Syrian Studies Association, and is currently on the board of the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus.

She is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation as well as a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar.

In addition to scholarly essays, Heghnar Watenpaugh’s writing has appeared in Newsweek and The Los Angeles Times andwas featured in a BBC podcast series about cultural heritage destroyed during the Syrian conflict. In recognition of this work she was selected as a Public Scholarship Faculty Fellow by the University of California Davis.


1 Heghnar Watenpaugh headshot

2 Toros Roslin, Canon Tables from the Zeytun Gospels, 1256, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 59, folio 6r.

Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program