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Highlights from the Collection

Explore curated selections from across our collections in a series of online exhibits.

Early Modern Architecture

Explore curated selections from our Rare Book Collection in the online exhibits below, or search our fully digitized titles.

Eighteenth-Century Vedute of Vienna

Books of printed vedute in the Rare Book Collection give a privileged view of the Habsburg imperial city as it developed over the course of the eighteenth century, with the construction of baroque palaces and manors.


Dutch Villas and Gardens of the 17th and 18th Centuries

This selection of images from the Rare Book Collection gives us a glimpse into the efflorescence of garden and villa culture seen in seventeenth-century Netherlands, especially the province of Holland

Exuberant Visions of the German Baroque

Through selections from the Rare Book Collection, this exhibition conveys the varied and dynamic character of the German baroque, which was marked by theatricality and the attempt to achieve harmony among myriad parts.


Hans Vredeman de Vries

This selection from the Rare Book Collection contains several important titles that give a taste of Hans Vredeman de Vries’s versatility and prolificacy as a Dutch Renaissance architect, painter, and engineer.



Botanical illustration

Explore curated selections from our Rare Book Collection in the online exhibits below, or search our fully digitized titles.

The Botany of Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century

This exhibition of materials from the Rare Book Collection was designed to accompany the 2013 symposium, “The Botany of Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century,” which had a strong focus on botanical books and illustrations.


Margaret Mee

The Rare Book Collection houses a collection of twenty-one paintings by the renowned British botanical artist, Margaret Mee (1909–1988). This exhibition reflects the work of Mee’s early journeys chronicling the flora of the Amazon.


Robert & Monnoyer: French Botanical Artists of the Seventeenth Century

Through materials from the Rare Book Collection, this exhibition provides illustrations from the leading proponents of two styles of French botanical illustration from the seventeenth century, scientifically focused and decorative.


Maria Sibylla Merian

This exhibition is a contribution to Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists, a collaborative city-wide exhibition of works by women artists at area museums developed by the National Museum of Women in the Arts.



Miscellany

Explore curated selections from our Rare Book Collection in the online exhibits below, or search our fully digitized titles.

Ces pièces immortelles: Early Numismatic Books in the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library

This exhibition explores the foundations of numismatic study of Roman and Byzantine coins from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries through numismatic catalogues and other publications held in the Rare Book Collection.


Before the Blisses: Nineteenth-Century Connoisseurship of the Byzantine Minor Arts

This exhibition examines the ways in which nineteenth-century collections and illustrated catalogs impacted the study and appreciation of early Christian, Byzantine, and medieval “minor arts” before the Blisses began their collections.


Bookbindings: “Of Making Many Books There Is No End”

Drawing from the Rare Book Collection, this exhibition on the material culture of book binding examines methods of production, materials, and styles, offering information about the provenance and history of the books.



Pre-Columbian Culture

Learn more about the cultures of the Pre-Columbian Andes and Mesoamerica in these selections from the Rare Book Collection and the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives.

The Ancient Future: Mesoamerican and Andean Timekeeping

The Aztec, Maya, and Inca civilizations used complex and multiple timekeeping systems for purposes of agriculture, worship, and political authority. This exhibition shares information on the calendars of each of these cultures.

Capturing Warfare: Enemies and Allies in the Pre-Columbian World

This exhibition highlights two representations of warfare in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica and the Andes, Moche fineline drawings and Lienzo de Quauhquechollan, cartographic histories recounting the conquest of Guatemala.



Past and Present: Views of Maya Monuments

This interactive exhibition matches ten lithographed plates of Maya monuments from Frederick Catherwood’s 1844 “Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan” with contemporary photographs by Jay A. Frogel to show the passage of time.


Standing on Ceremony: Processions, Pathways, and Plazas

Drawing on materials from the Library and the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives, this exhibition was created to accompany the Pre-Columbian Studies 2014 symposium, “Processions in the Ancient Americas: Approaches and Perspectives.”


Byzantine Coins and Seals

Dumbarton Oaks is home to some of the most comprehensive collections of Byzantine coins and lead seals in the world. Learn about these objects in the exhibits below, and search the collections in our online catalogues of Byzantine coins and Byzantine seals.

God’s Regents on Earth: A Thousand Years of Byzantine Imperial Seals

For over a thousand years the Byzantine Emperor ruled as God’s regent of earth. The designs of the imperial seals in this exhibition provide an insight into the minds and policies of the rulers whose image they bore.


The Byzantine Emperors on Coins

One hundred twenty-seven coins, one for each Byzantine emperor, plus the few usurpers who struck coins are presented in this exhibition. All the objects have been selected from the Byzantine Coin Collection.


Leaden Gospels

To accompany the 2013 Byzantine Studies symposium “New Testament in Byzantium,” this exhibition presents and analyzes several of the rare Byzantine lead seals from the collection that depict New Testament narrative scenes and figures.



Byzantine Architecture

Materials from the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives are vivid witnesses to Byzantine art and architecture—and their afterlife—and to 20th-century attempts to uncover, preserve, and reconstruct the past.

Before Byzantium: The Early Activities of Thomas Whittemore (1871–1931)

This exhibition weaves an intricate narrative from an archival treasure trove, which reflects the evolution of Thomas Whittemore and the beginnings of the Byzantine Institute, through textual sources and photographs.


A Truthful Record: The Byzantine Institute Films

This online exhibition presents the moving images produced by the Byzantine Institute during its restoration and cleaning activities at the Red Sea Monasteries in Egypt and the Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii in Istanbul, Turkey.


The Holy Apostles—Visualizing a Lost Monument

Designed to accompany the 2015 Byzantine Studies symposium on the Holy Apostles, this exhibition celebrates the collaborative work intended to reconstruct the now lost church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.


Market Gardens (Bostans) in Istanbul

The photographs in this exhibition provide exceptional information on the market gardens of Istanbul from the 1930s and 1940s, as well as broader chronological context for the transformation of the urban space in the second half of the twentieth century.

Nicholas V. Artamonoff Collection

Nicholas V. Artamonoff left behind a collection of at least 1033 photographs dating from 1930 to 1947.


From Clearing to Cataloging: The Corpus of Tunisian Mosaics

This exhibit highlights the Margaret Alexander Collection at Dumbarton Oaks, and was developed to coincide with the 2012 Byzantine Studies symposium, “Rome Re-Imagined: Byzantine and Early Islamic Africa, c. 500–800.”