The Lois Drewer Database

Lois DrewerLois Jean Drewer, Research Scholar in the Index of Christian Art in Princeton University received her A.B in History from Whitman College, Washington in 1963, before taking a Masters in the History of Art from the University of Michigan in 1965. This was followed by a Phd in the same subject and from the same college which was awarded some six years later.

She was curator in the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library in the University of Virginia between 1971 and 73 before becoming Chair of the Department of Art in Hobart and William Smith Colleges between 1977-79. From 1981 to 87, she was employed by the Getty Art Information Program as an editor in Williamstown. She joined the Index of Christian Art in Princeton University in 1987 as a research scholar. A renowned specialist in early Christian and Byzantine art, her particular focus was on the medieval arts of the Near East. Her enthusiasm for these arts was familiar to all who knew her.

Lois DrewerShe contributed to numerous publications in the field and lectured widely in America as well as in Europe. She has many articles to her credit, the majority of which are studies in the iconography of the medieval arts of Byzantium. She was beloved of many students in the university who always went to her for that extra bit of help. A renowned bibliophile, she had a keen interest in the arts from all periods and not just that of the Byzantine world.

When she died in 2011 she left the Index of Christian Art a large and unsorted collection of slides which covered many countries she visited throughout her lifetime. Her wide interest in art and architecture is reflected in this collection which spans landscape and garden design to archaeological sites in the Near East, to Romanesque and Gothic architecture to a considerable focus on Renaissance architecture. Her travels brought her to Austria, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Libya, the Netherlands, Spain, Syria, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. It is slightly ironical that some of the weakest areas to be represented in this collection are the medieval and Byzantine worlds!

Lois DrewerMany of these images were taken some thirty to forty years ago and are disparate in nature and quality. Little data accompanied the images apart from the site identification which Lois wrote on every slide and despite this unevenness we have decided to make the collection available to general scholarship in her honor. The data accompanying each image is what she wrote on them and over time we hope to upgrade this. As it presently stands, the images in this database are low resolution files but larger tiff format files are available free of charge for scholarly publication.

Lois is missed in the Index and this collection has been created in her memory. In particular, thanks are due to Robin Dunham, Michael Clifford, Jessica Savage and Jon Niola for their help in making this resource available.

Colum Hourihane
Director, Index of Christian Art

Browse the Images