Andraw Myers, History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts
Andrea Myers Achi is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts specializing in late antique and Byzantine art, manuscript studies, and late Roman ceramics. She received her bachelor’s degree in ancient studies from Barnard College, and she holds two masters’ degrees from New York University: one in Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian studies and a second in the History of Art from the Institute of Fine Arts. Her dissertation investigates monastic books and book production from the medieval Monastery of St. Michael in Egypt. This project investigates Coptic manuscripts at the Pierpont Morgan Library and examines how manuscripts can help us understand monastic economy, including the production of books, and the pervasive monastic book culture of Christian Egypt.
Andrea Myers Achi explored modeling strategies and methodologies for organizing and analyzing the core work of her dissertation. Specifically, she became proficient writing XML documents with TEI, and versed in social analysis packages in R Studio. In tandem with mastering these digital methods and tools, she translated the Coptic colophons in the manuscript corpus. The colophons of the manuscripts confirm that the collection forms a single group of manuscripts dedicated to the Monastery of St. Michael, and they provide rare detailed information about the scribes, artists, donors and production location of the manuscripts. As these texts were translated, with the help of the social network analysis tools, she assessed the relationships between the various people who were involved in the monastic book production in the Faiyum Oasis, Egypt during the ninth and tenth centuries. All of the manuscripts preserve their illuminations. Through a stylistic analysis of the decoration, she intends to find a connection between the information gleaned from the colophons and the decorative choices used in the manuscripts. She hopes to use social network analysis programs as a means to assess these data. Overall, this project allows her to visualize, merge, and manipulate both the textual and art historical data from her dissertation research.