Milette Gaifman

Milette Gaifman's picture
Associate Professor of History of Art and Classics
190 York St, New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 432-2687


Milette Gaifman received her B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1997, and her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2005. Before coming to Yale in September 2005, she was Hanadiv Fellow and Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 2004–2005.

Her research focuses on the intersection between Greek art and visual culture and Greek religious life. She is interested in topics such as the divine image in Greek religion, the relationship between art and ritual, the variety of forms in Greek art—from the naturalistic to the non-figural—as well as the historiography of the scholarship of Greek art. Her first book Aniconism in Greek Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2012) examines the cultic and visual significance of non-figural monuments that marked the presence of gods in Greek antiquity. Her forthcoming book The Art of Libation in Classical Athens (Under Contract, Yale University Press) examines the affective force of images of libations in Athenian art of the fifth century BC.

In 2007 she was awarded the Jane Faggen Dissertation Prize from Princeton University’s Department of Art and Archaeology, in 2008-2009 she was a visiting scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and in 2009 she received the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication from Yale College. In April 2013, she received the Gaddis Smith International Book prize for her book, Aniconism in Greek Antiquity, an award given by the MacMillan Center for the best first book on an international subject by a member of the Yale faculty. She served as Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Department of History of Art in 2009-2011.

Selected Publications


Aniconism in Greek Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

(Forthcoming, Under Contract) The Art of Libation in Classical Athens, (New Haven: Yale University Press).

Articles & Book Chapters

(Forthcoming, Fall 2013) “Fluidity, Timelessness and Apollo’s Libation”, RES Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics, Special Issue, Christopher Wood ed.

(Forthcoming, 2014) “Iconographic (& Numismatic) Evidence,” in Oxford Handbook on Greek Religion (OHAGR), Esther Eidinow and Julia Kindt eds. (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

“Pausanias and Modern Perceptions of Primordial Greeks,” Classical Receptions Journal, 2 (2010), 254-86.

“Aniconism and the Idea of the Primitive in Greek Antiquity” in: Divine Images and Human Imagination in Greece and Rome, ed. Joannis Mylonopoulos (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 63-86.

“The Libation of Oinomaos,” in: Antike Mythen, Medien, Transformationen, Konstruktionen, Ueli Dill and Christine Walde eds., (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009), 576-598.

“Visualized Rituals and Dedicatory Inscriptions on Votive Offerings to the Nymphs,” Opuscula: Annual of the Swedish Institute at Athens and Rome 1 (2008), 85-103.

“The Aniconic Image of the Roman Near East,” in: The Variety of Local Religions of the Ancient Near East in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods, Ted Kaizer ed., in the series Religions in the Greco-Roman World (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 37-72.

“Statue, Cult and Reproduction,” Art History 29:2 Special Issue, Jas’ Elsner and Jen Trimble eds., (April 2006), 258-279.

 (Forthcoming) “The Absent Figure of the Present God: Aniconic Monuments on Greek Vases,” in: Theoi Epiphaneis Confronting the Divine in Greco-Roman Culture, Georgia Petridou and Verity Platt eds. (Leiden, Brill).

(Forthcoming) “Framing Divine Bodies in Greek Art,” in: Framing the Visual in Greek and Roman Art, Michael Squire and Verity Platt eds., (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press).