Christopher Platts (PhD ’19) wins publication award

August 8, 2019

Congratulations to Christopher Platts, whose exhibition catalogue (co-authored by Yale Law Librarian Mike Widener) Representing the Law in the Most Serene Republic: Images of Authority from Renaissance Venice has won the American Association of Law Libraries annual Publication Award. Christopher (PhD, History of Art, 2018) is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in Art History and Curator & Director of the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery at the University of Connecticut.

The Publication Award recognizes a significant non-periodical contribution to scholarly legal literature in a variety of publication types e.g., books, book chapters, bibliographies, blogs, periodical columns, etc. Christopher Platts and Mike Widener’s exhibition catalogue Representing the Law in the Most Serene Republic: Images of Authority from Renaissance Venice explores how the Venetian Republic – a prosperous and powerful state in early modern Europe – cultivated a mythical image of stability, liberty, and beauty. Focusing primarily on the outstanding holdings of Italian law books in the Yale Law Library’s Rare Book Collection, the catalogue presents 25 objects of remarkable splendor and historical significance. These include illuminated manuscripts, illustrated books, prints, drawings, coins, and medals, nearly a dozen of which were culled from other Yale art and library collections.

The catalogue introduces the most significant offices and symbols of the Venetian state, and explains how laws were crafted, debated, publicized, and flouted. The protagonists of the stories recounted herein are the doge (duke) and highest magistrates of Venice, the governors appointed to rule the Republic’s far-flung territories, the lawmakers in the Senate, and the lawbreakers consigned to prison or to the galleys – all of them illustrated in finely executed representations in various media.

A digital version of the print catalogue is available here: