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Antiochian Heritage Museum Exhibits Feature Art and History

Byzantine 1, by Tatiana Nikolova-Houston; acrylic, 2011Byzantine 1, by Tatiana Nikolova-Houston; acrylic, 2011The Antiochian Heritage Museum welcomes two new exhibits this summer! Gracing the center wall of our museum is "Sacred Illuminations," a colorful exhibit inspired by Byzantine and Slavic manuscript design and the Bulgarian heritage of the artist, Tatiana Nikolova-Houston. Inspired by the elaborate and colorful designs of Slavic and Byzantine illuminated manuscripts, as well as the folk art of her native Bulgaria, Nikolova-Houston's artwork is rich in spiritual and cultural tradition. A scholar of religious studies and library science, Tatiana earned both a Master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a member of St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her husband and daughter. After discovering little-known fourteenth-century manuscripts deteriorating under poor conditions in a monastery in Sophia, Bulgaria, and thanks to a generous grant from the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Tatiana was able to spend a year there, working to preserve these rare treasures.

On loan from the Arab American National Museum (AANM) in Dearborn, Michigan, is "Little Syria, New York: An Immigrant Community's Life and Legacy," celebrating the vibrant Syrian community which developed in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. The exhibit explores the period during the late 1800s and early 1900s, when Arabic- speaking immigrants began to settle on Washington Street in lower Manhattan. Their entrepreneurial spirit transformed the neighborhood, known as Little Syria, into a thriving community lined with shops, restaurants and coffeehouses – each furnished with signs written in their native Arabic. Here Arab- Americans raised their families, educated their children, worshipped in churches and mosques, and gradually became part of the life of New York.

Read about the exhibits in the summer edition of The Word