August: All That Glitters


Our August gallery reflects the golden color of the late-summer sun.

Scroll down to discover more about each image.

Precious Jewels. An intricately-detailed garnet pendant hangs from the chain of this golden necklace, likely dating from the late-4th or early-5th century. Jewelry such as this inspired ornate imitations during the Byzantine revival of the 1800s.

Necklace with Garnet Cloisonné Pendant (Olbia, South Russia). Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Collection, BZ.1940.1.1. (Late 4th or Early 5th Century).

Gilded Gothic. Ralph Adams Cram, an American architect at the turn of the twentieth century, was a leader of the Gothic Revival in the United States. The gold-embossed cover of his book on church building hints at the splendor of the “solid and enduring temples” he describes inside, saying that they should be “wrought in the fashion of heavenly things.”

Ralph Adams Cram, Church Building: A Study of the Principles of Architecture in their Relation to the Church (Boston: Marshall Jones Company, 1924, 3rd ed.), p. 6, 7.

Impressive Empress. Empress Zoe (circa 978 – 1050 CE) ruled the Byzantine Empire from its seat in Constantinople from 1028 CE. Here, she appears in glorious attire on a reproduction of three-paneled votive mosaic from the Hagia Sofia.

Devotional Dress. Often used in processions or as altars for private worship, cap i pota (Catalan for “head and leg”) dolls traveled with Spanish colonists across the Americas. Their splendid attire of silk with golden trimmings made dressing dolls like this one a devotional act.

Cap i pota doll, ca. 1850–1900. Photograph by Joe Mills, 2018.