Holger A. Klein

Professor and Department Chair

Early Christian, Byzantine, and Western Medieval Art and Archaeology
Ph.D., Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, 2000
M.A., Courtauld Institute of Art, 1994

Contact Information

Phone: (212) 854-8940
Office: 931 Schermerhorn Hall
Office Hours: Fridays, 4-6


Holger A. Klein was educated in Art History, Early Christian Archaeology, and German Literature at the universities of Freiburg im Breisgau, Munich, London, and Bonn. His research focuses on Late Antique, Early Medieval, and Byzantine art and architecture, more specifically, on the cult of relics, reliquaries, and issues of cultural and artistic exchange.

From 2004–2007 he served as the Robert P. Bergman Curator of Medieval Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art and continued to oversee the reinstallation of the museum's renowned collection of Medieval and Byzantine art until 2010. His work as a curator includes various international loan exhibitions, among them Restoring Byzantium. The Kariye Camii in Istanbul and the Byzantine Institute Restoration (Wallach Art Gallery, 2004), Medieval Treasures from The Cleveland Museum of Art (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum/The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007–08) and Treasures of Heaven. Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe (Cleveland Museum of Art/Walters Art Museum/British Museum, 2010–11).

Professor Klein is the recipient of several awards and prizes, including the 50th annual Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching (2011), which honors a Columbia professor's commitment to undergraduate instruction as well as "humanity, devotion to truth, and inspiring leadership"; the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award (2012), which recognizes unusual merit as a teacher of undergraduate and graduate students as well as outstanding scholarship; and the Wm. Theodore de Bary Award for Distinguished Service to the Core Curriculum (2014).

Download Articles

"Die Staurothek Kardinal Bessarions: Bildrhetorik und Reliquienkult im Venedig des späten Mittelalters," in: Inter latinos graecissimus, inter graecos latinissimus. Bessarion im Wechselspiel kultureller Integration, ed. C. Märtl and C. Kaiser, Berlin and Boston (2013), 245–276. PDF

Tarifi Zor Bay Whittemore: Erken Dönem, 1871–1916 — The Elusive Mr. Whittemore: The Early Years 1871–1916, The Kariye Camii Reconsidered, ed. H. A. Klein, R. G. Ousterhout, B. Pitarakis, Istanbul (2011), 451-480. PDF

Refashioning Byzantium in Venice, ca. 1200–1400, San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice, ed. R. Nelson and H. Maguire, Washington D.C. (2010), 193–225. PDF

Sacred Things and Holy Bodies. Collecting Relics from Late Antiquity to the Early Renaissance, Treasures of Heaven. Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe, ed. M. Bagnoli, H. A. Klein, C. G. Mann, J. Robinson, Baltimore (2010), 55-67. PDF

The Church of Hagia Sophia in Bizye (Vize): Results of the Fieldwork Seasons 2003 and 2004, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 60 (2006), 249-270. PDF

Sacred Relics and Imperial Ceremonies at the Great Palace of Constantinople, F.A. Bauer (ed.), Visualisierungen von Herrschaft, BYZAS 5 (2006), 79-99. PDF

Eastern Objects and Western Desires: Relics and Reliquaries between Byzantium and the West, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 58 (2004), 283-314. PDF

Web Sites

Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe

Restoring Byzantium: The Rediscovery and Restoration of the Kariye Camii

Selected Publications

List of Publications PDF