Date of Award

May 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Richard A. Leson

Committee Members

Derek B. Counts


A. Dean Mckenzie, Art, Charles Bolles Bolles-rogers, History, Icon, University of Wisconsin-milwaukee


The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Art Collection is home to a sizable donation of Byzantine and post-medieval icons and liturgical objects. Central to this thesis exhibition catalogue are the thirty-two Greek and Russian icons from this collection and their history with collector Charles Bolles Bolles-Rogers. Reflections on a Collection: Revisiting the UWM Icons Collection Fifty Years Later contextualizes the history of icon collecting in the United States and examines the collecting history of these icons.

By first focusing on icon collecting and scholarship in Greece and Russia towards the end of the nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries, this catalogue traces the growth of interest in Byzantine and post-medieval Greek and Russian liturgical objects in the West, particularly the United States. Icons and liturgical objects became increasingly desirable for large institutions and museums along with private collectors in the twentieth century. Bolles-Rogers was one such collector. This catalogue sheds new light on the history and acquisition of the Rogers Family Collection of icons and liturgical objects to the UWM Art Collection and shows that the Rogers Family Collection is not only a collection of icons but also a collection that reflects the time period in the art world in which it was assembled.