the Luxury Arts
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Copyright © 2011
April 29, 2012
Genevra Kornbluth is an historian of the luxury arts as well as a photographer. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of North Carolina, and has served as a Director of the International Center of Medieval Art. Because she knows what to look for, she is uniquely qualified to document unusual objects. She has published extensively on western Medieval, Byzantine, and Roman engraved gems, metalwork, coins, and seals. A hallmark of her scholarship is close attention to the minute details that reveal how objects were made and used.
(She is shown here packing her portable studio.)
Kornbluth discovered in the early 1980s that she could not purchase the detailed images that she needed. She therefore developed new techniques to illustrate what makes each object different from all others. She now has 30 years of experience documenting those details.
Her first book,
Engraved Gems of the Carolingian Empire (Penn State University Press, 1995), features photographs of rock crystal intaglios. With transparent engraving on a transparent ground, these are among the most difficult objects to document. Kornbluth discovered the artistsí original sketching surviving on many stones, and was able to document that as well as figural details. Her second book, Amulets, Power, and Identity in Early Medieval Europe, will appear soon, and will also feature her own photography.