Penn Art History Professor Wins Anglo-Hellenic League Book Award

University of Pennsylvania Associate Professor Ivan Drpić has received the 2017 Runciman Book Award from the Anglo-Hellenic League in London.

A specialist in Byzantine art Drpić, who recently joined Penn’s History of Art Department in the School of Arts & Sciences, won for his 2016 book Epigram, Art and Devotion in Later Byzantium.​​​​​​​

“I am very fortunate to join the faculty at Penn, a school notable not only for the strength of its program in art history but also for a distinguished tradition of research and teaching in the field of Byzantine art and archaeology,” he said.

The award, founded in 1986, is given each year for a work about Greece or the world of Hellenism, published in English in its first edition in the previous year, with a goal to stimulate interest in Greek history and culture.

Spanning the last centuries of the Byzantium period, from about 1100 to 1450, the book focuses on verse inscriptions on works of art. Bringing together art-historical and literary analysis, the book examines epigrams and other related texts alongside an array of objects, including icons, reliquaries, ecclesiastical textiles, mosaics and entire church buildings.

“One could not hope for a better guide to epigrams, these very Byzantine cultural objects, whether inscribed on precious objects and monuments, or preserved on the pages of manuscripts,” said Dionysios Stathakopoulos of Kings College London, chairman of the award’s panel of judges. “This is a gripping book with wonderful illustrations that evoke the richness and complexity of the texts and objects explored in it.”

Drpić earned his Ph.D. and master’s degree in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Belgrade.


Ivan Drpic