Cecil L. Striker passed away in Philadelphia on January 9, 2023 at the age of 91. He was a world-renowned archaeologist and historian of Byzantine architecture. A native of Cincinnati, C. L. Striker graduated from Oberlin College and received his doctorate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York under the direction of Prof. Richard Krautheimer. He taught at Vassar College (1962-1968) and the University of Pennsylvania (1968-2001) where he supervised many students, established innovative graduate programs, and turned Penn into a powerhouse of architectural history. He frequently served as chair of Penn’s Department of the History of Art, and helped design the university’s new graduate program in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World. His monograph on the imperial church of the Myrelaion (Bodrum Camii) was followed by an even more ambitious project, the archaeological exploration and restoration of the Middle Byzantine church of Kalenderhane Camii in Istanbul. C. L. Striker pioneered the application of dendrochronology in the dating of medieval buildings across Greece, the Balkans, and Turkey. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Research Institute in Turkey, the founding member of the Executive Board of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, and a consultant for the Istanbul Metro and Bosphorus Tube Tunnel Project. Working at the intersection of architecture and archaeology, C. L. Striker played a seminal role in ensuring that the late-twentieth century would be a golden age of Byzantine Studies in North America. He is survived by his spouse Ute Striker, sister-in-law Carol Striker, nephew Robert L. Striker, and niece Laura Striker.

Written by Kostis Kourelis (AAMW’03), Associate Professor of Art History

Link to Philadelphia Inquirer obituary HERE