Cynthia Hahn, professor of Medieval Art History, was appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor by the CUNY Board of Trustees on April 24, 2023. This is the highest academic rank the City University of New York can bestow, and a wonderful and much-deserved recognition of Cynthia’s scholarship and her status in the field. Appointment as a Distinguished Professor requires a rigorous process of administrative and peer review, which Cynthia passed with flying colors. As one of her reviewers wrote, “Dr. Hahn has produced a stream of visually and intellectually stimulating books that have succeeded as few medieval scholars have in making medieval artifacts gripping and thought-provoking across the full range of twenty-first-century eras and disciplines.”
Cynthia is the author of numerous publications, including Portrayed on the Heart: Narrative Effect in Pictorial Lives of the Saints from the Tenth through the Thirteenth Century, University of California Press, 2001; Strange Beauty: Origins and Issues in the Making of Medieval Reliquaries 400-circa 1204, Penn State University Press, 2012; The Reliquary Effect: Enshrining the Sacred Object, Reaktion Press, London, 2017 and “The Thing of Mine I have Loved the Best:” Significant Jewels, (Exhibition catalog, Les Enluminures, New York), 2018. In 2020, she published three books: Passion Relics and the Medieval Imagination: Art, Architecture, and Society, University of California Press, 2020; Heart’s Desire: The Darnley Jewel and the Human Body, National Galleries of Scotland, 2020; and Seeking Transparency: Rock Crystals across the Medieval Mediterranean, a volume co-edited with Avinoam Shalem from Gebr.Mann Verlag in Berlin. Cynthia has been an Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts, National Gallery, Washington DC; a fellow at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA; and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. And this is only part of her CV. She received her PhD from the Johns Hopkins University, and before coming to Hunter, she was Gulnar K. Bosch Professor of Art History at Florida State University.
The Department of Art and Art History is fortunate to now have four CUNY Distinguished Professors. Cynthia joins professors Emily Braun, Jeffrey Mongrain, and Nari Ward. Congratulations, Cynthia!