Research Interests

  • Late Antique and Byzantine art and architecture
  • Cross-cultural exchange
  • Cult of relics
  • Material culture

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).

In 2011, he received the 50th annual Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching, which honors a Columbia professor for commitment to undergraduate instruction as well as for "humanity, devotion to truth, and inspiring leadership."

Selected Publications

Restoring Byzantium: The Rediscovery and Restoration of the Kariye Camii

Byzanz, der Westen und das wahre Kreuz. Die Geschichte einer Reliquie und ihrer künstlerischen Fassung in Byzanz und im Abendland. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2004.

Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe (ed. with Martina Bagnoli, C. Griffith Mann, and James Robinson). Yale University Press, 2010.

Sacred Gifts and Worldly Treasures. Medieval Masterpieces from the Cleveland Museum of Art (ed., with contributions by Stephen Fliegel and Virginia Brilliant). Cleveland: 2007.

Bir Anıt – Iki Anıtsal Kişilik. Theodoros Methokites’den Thomas Whittemore’a. Kariye. From Theodore Metochites to Thomas Whittemore. One Monument – Two Monumental Personalities (ed. with R. G. Ousterhout and B. Pitarakis). Istanbul: Pera Museum, 2007.

Restoring Byzantium. The Kariye Camii in Istanbul and the Byzantine Institute Restoration (ed., in collaboration with Robert G. Ousterhout). New York: Wallach Art Gallery, 2004.