Elizabeth Adda Robinson Ratcliffe
1973: MA in Byzantine Medieval Art History

Elizabeth graduated from Wellesley College in 1945 with a BA in Art History. She had a great love of this subject area and in the early 1970s while re-inventing herself after divorce in 1966, she attended the University of Oregon in Eugene where she received a Masters of Art degree in Byzantine Medieval Art History.

Milutin Church, from west side Milutin Church, from east side For her Thesis, “Milutin’s King’s Church,” Elizabeth researched a small Serbian chapel in Studenica Monastery built in 1313-14. Her art history problem was to discover how it was that the frescoes in Milutin’s chapel are in the early Renaissance rounded style of Giotto, rather than in the traditional flat Byzantine style. In the course of her work, she became something of an expert in various political and art historical events of the early 14th century.

A 2008 letter to Geraldine Brooks, inspired by her 2008 work, People of the Book, provides a summary of Elizabeth’s research. As well, a series of papers she wrote while studying at the U of O provide more background for what would eventually be her final work in this period.