Are you looking for a specialist in the visual aspects of the biblical world and the legacy of Christian art? Somebody who can answer questions such as:
What did Jesus, and other first-century Jews look like? How did ancient Romans and Greeks dress themselves? What was the landscape or architecture of biblical Israel like? Why does Jesus look the way he does in art? And especially, how can one avoid certain issues, such as antisemitism and orientalism, in dramatizations (stage or screen) and other depictions of the bible?
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A selection of recent consulting projects can be found below.
Historical & Cultural Advisor,
Provided advice and guidance to the Fisher Price / Mattel, Inc., team responsible for the Little People range as they sought to redesign the Little People Nativity Set and the Little People Noah's Ark.
Advice was rooted in two areas: 1. The evidence we have for the clothing and dress culture of first-century Jewish peoples (being represented in the Nativity Set); and 2. The legacy of Christian representation of biblical narratives. Consideration was given to representations of race both from a historical perspective and from the perspective of a contemporary consumer. Advice was tailored to the specific product, namely a children's toy constructed from plastic, and to Mattel's specific guidelines for their Little People range.
Redesign not yet available
Historical & Cultural Advisor,
Provided advice and guidance to the editor and illustrator of Bible Stories for Kids: 40 Essential Stories to Grow in God's Love (2021). The editor of this children's bible wanted the illustrations to be sensitive to each story's historical setting. Guidance therefore included the degree to which that is possible (outlining the limits of our historical knowledge and the difficulties in situating some biblical narratives in a specific place or time), as well as creative suggestions when 'historical accuracy' was not achievable, and advice on how to depict biblical narratives without replicating polemics often present in Christian art.
When a bible story could be linked to a specific time period and geographic location, advice included: what the people and their clothing would have looked like; and, what the landscape looked like (built structures, as well as flora and fauna).
Bloomsbury T&T Clark Jesus Library
Selected and collated 500 works of art and cultural artifacts depicting Jesus (or scenes from his life) to form the basis of a digital image collection for the T&T Clark Jesus Library, part of Bloomsbury's Theology & Religion Online. The purpose of the collection is to provide an overview of the cultural impact and reception of the figure of Christ.
The works of art, all selected from the Metropolitan Museums of Art's collection, span over 1,500 years and come from various geographic / cultural regions. For each item selected, I provided basic identifying details (artist, year(s) of creation, location of creation, type of art and materials used), as well as a brief description.