Sacred Garments: Orthodox Christian Vestments from Around the World

Lydia Webster, Curator
June 6 - August 18, 2017

Regular Gallery Hours
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
10:00AM - 3:00PM

Doug Adams Gallery
2465 Le Conte Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709

Free & open to the public

About the Exhibit

This exhibition celebrates ten visually stunning Orthodox vestments, seeped in history, religion and tradition, custom-made for Metropolitan Nikitas, the Director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley. Gathered over the course of Metropolitan’s service in a wide range of countries from Vietnam, China and India to Italy and the Ukraine, the vestments tell the story of Orthodox Christianity throughout the world. On display for the first time, these complex and beautiful vestments hold powerfully religious significance for the services in which they are still used today. Through examining the vestments, this exhibition highlights the questions of these garments as art, sacred items and functional clothing, while keeping their individual cultural contexts at the heart of the discussion. Come and learn about a two-hundred-year-old tradition, passed down from third century Byzantium and kept alive around the world to this day. 

About the Curator

Lydia Webster, Curator, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland but was lucky enough to spend most of her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. After living in England for several years, she moved back to Edinburgh to complete her undergraduate degree in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Her undergraduate training formed her research interests in identity and memory studies, sacred space and the Israeli museum sphere. While completing her studies, Lydia interned as part of the Current Archaeology team. She has also worked in two archives, at the School of Scottish Studies and the University of Edinburgh School of Divinity. Engaging with and educating the public in the Museum of Somerset, England, and at the Scottish Festival of Museums has also formalized her decision to pursue a career in the museum sector. Lydia is currently in the Museum Studies MA Program at the University of San Francisco.

This spring, Lydia is an intern at the Doug Adams Gallery at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley at which she is helping to curate an exhibition of Greek Orthodox vestments belonging to Metropolitan Nikitas of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, Summer 2017. This internship is the practical embodiment of Lydia’s undergraduate dissertation on the display of religious objects within museums, and she looks forward to deepening her understanding of all that goes into an exhibition of this type.