Monthly Archives: September 2019

BAA Tower of London Study Day, Saturday November 2nd, 2019

The British Archaeological Association Study Day at the Tower of London will enable us to look closely at some recent research, both historical and archaeological, to learn about curating practices and restoration of wall paintings at the tower, and to explore spaces that are often closed to the public.

Provisional programme:

11:30 Introduction (Sally Dixon-Smith)

12:30 Byward Tower Wall Painting (Group A) with Jane Spooner

12:30 Resent Research on the Historic Residential Accommodation at Tower Green (Group B) with Agnieszka Sadraei

1:00 Byward Tower Wall Painting (Group B) with Jane Spooner

1:00 Resent Research on the Historic Residential Accommodation at Tower Green (Group A) with Agnieszka Sadraei

1:30 Introduction to the Royal Lodgings Jeremy Ashbee
1:45 Independent Lunch Break and time to explore
3:00 Chapel of St John and White Tower with Jeremy Ashbee 3:45 Chapel of St Peter with Jessica Barker (in two groups)

 

Places for the Study Day are limited to 20, of which up to 10 are reserved for students.

The cost of the day will be £40 for members. The fee includes a ticket for the Tower of London. The event is free for students, for whom travel grants (to a maximum of £50) are also available.

To apply please e-mail studydays@thebaa.org – by September 20th, 2019.

Please state in the email whether you are a member of the BAA or a student.

All names will be entered into a ballot for the study day and the successful applicants will be notified by September 23rd.

New Book: Flamboyant Architecture and Medieval Technicality: The Rise of Artistic Consciousness at the End of Middle Ages (c. 1400 – c. 1530), Jean-Marie Guillouët

Flamboyant Architecture and Medieval Technicality: The Rise of Artistic Consciousness at the End of Middle Ages (c. 1400 – c. 1530)

By Jean-Marie Guillouët

xviii + 200 p., 70 b/w ills, 43 colour ill., 216 x 280 mm, 2019

ISBN 978-2-503-57729-6

More Info: http://bit.ly/2lB7Y76

This book seeks to further our understanding of the socio-genesis of artistic modernity by turning to microhistory. It explores a late-medieval decorative procedure that emerged and spread in northern and central France from the early fifteenth century to the start of the following century. Using the well-known miniature, the Building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem from the fifteenth-century codex of Les Antiquités judaïques as a starting point, this study deals with architecture and technical knowledge of builders. This investigation unpacks and reveals many aspects of the technical and visual culture of late medieval craftsmen and artists. The virtuosic skills these artisans displayed are worthy of inclusion in the development of technical practices of Flamboyant Gothic architecture. They also reflect broader cultural and social configurations, which go far beyond the history of building. This micro-historical perspective on what can be called “hyper-technical” Gothic contributes to our appreciation of the role of technical mastery in establishing social hierarchies and artistic individuation processes during the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern period.

Jean-Marie Guillouët was trained at the Sorbonne (Paris-IV) where he began his teaching career. Since 2002, he is a professor at the University of Nantes and was also in charge of the Medieval Studies section of the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), between 2008 and 2012. His principal field is fourteenth- and fifteenth-century sculpture and architecture in France and Portugal, but he also works on artistic and cultural interchanges in Gothic Europe. He has recently published several studies relating to microarchitecture in flamboyant Gothic and late medieval construction techniques as well as several books and papers on artistic production of the Late Middle Ages with a particular focus on sculpture and architecture. He is currently working on the social and cultural history of the technical gesture in late medieval craftsmanship. Since 2016, he is the scientific secretary of the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA).

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. TechnicalSavoir-Faireas Historical Topic
    Observations on a well-known Illumination
    Nantes, Tours and the Master of the Munich Boccaccio
    Representation of a technical Gesture and Jean Fouquet’s Heritage
    A French 15th-Century sculptural savoir-faire
    Late Medieval Gothic Building Sites and Technical Innovations
    First Conclusions
  2. Slate Inlay: A Technical History
    Functional Constraints
    Hollowed out blocks for Inlay
    The Practice of Preparatory Tracing
    Installation in the Archivolts
    An Operational Change at the Beginning of the 15th Century
    An Interruption in the History of Technique: Auxerre
    The Consequences of a new stereotomic System
    Choices of Stone Types
    Conclusions on Implementation
  3. Social History of a Skill
    Traces and Remains of a Valued Procedure
    The Practical Geometry of a Building Site at the End of the Middle Ages and its Tools
    The Tools and their Uses
    The Prevalence of the Square
    The insignological Uses of the Compass
    The Incisions at Tours and Rouen as Illustrations of Construction Practices
    Workers with Stone: social History of a Technique
    Masons and Sculptors
    Stone-cutters and Carvers of Images
    The Socio-Professional Distinction of the Creators of the Canopies – the Case of Bourges
    Technical One-upmanship and Informal Hierarchies at a Building Site
  4. Microarchitecture and Represented Space
    Architecture and Represented Space
    Towards 1400 in Central/Middle France: a Rupture
    Microarchitecture as a Locus
    Slate Inlay and the Depth of Fictive Space
    Baldachins, Canopies and Late-Medieval Sacral Regimes
    Monumental Syntax toward “Architectural Wit”
  5. Virtuosity,Varietasand Captatio benevolentiae
    Slate or Glass Insertion, Admiratio and Varietas
    Material and Colour Contrasts during the Late Middle Ages
    An Incunabula of c. 1400
    Slate Inlay as a “Technology of Enchantment”
    Late Gothic Art: A Hyper-Technical Cultural Regime
  6. Conclusion

Bibliography

Colour Plates

CFP: Enclosures: Women’s Religious Art and the Boundaries of Method (International Medieval Congress, Leeds 2020, September 10, 2019)

This panel seeks to explore new methodologies for studying the art of women’s religious communities in global and cross-cultural perspective from about 500 to 1525 CE. 

In the last few decades years, art historians have put women back on the map of European medieval art history. Harnessing the second-wave feminism, scholars, such as Caroline Walker Bynum and Madeline H. Caviness, paved the way for this radical shift. The generation that followed, most influentially Jeffrey Hamburger, has consolidated the study of the art and architecture of female monasticism, as manifested in the landmark exhibition of Crown and Veil (Essen and Bonn, 2005). In the process, art historians expanded our knowledge of the role of religious women as makers, commissioners, and recipients of art. The corpus of works of art has exponentially enlarged, fully encompassing the range of media engaged in women’s religious life, including objects previously relegated to margins of art history as crafts. To do so, art historians have employed a variety of methodologies, using interdisciplinary approaches. 

Now, it is time to refresh the methodological foundations and broaden the scope of inquiry of this field. To this end, we invite speakers working on topics of the art of religious women and communities in any cultural, religious, and geographic context. In particular, we encourage the submission of papers that examines the methodological challenges and/or engage in innovative approaches in the field. 

Potential questions may include, but are not limited to: 

  • New insights into the role women’s religious communities played in the production and commission of art.
  • Is the art of female monasticism a productive category of inquiry? If so, what can we learn from examining medieval art through this lens and what are its boundaries? If not, what are the other venues for studying the art of religious women?
  • What new venues do interdisciplinary collaborations open up for the study of female monastic art?
  • Do we need to reassess gender-specific approaches to the art of women’s religious communities in light of recent scholarship on gender?
  • What lessons might be learned from examining other cultural and religious traditions? What methods have proven productive in examining non-Christian/non-Western cultural and religious communities?
  • Case studies of inter-religious and/or inter-cultural exchange, interchange, influences, and entanglement among women’s religious communities
  • Are there media specific to or preferred by female audience? Are there any of these universal?
  • New technological/digital approaches to studying the art of women’s religious communities 

The session seeks to provide a forum for scholars at different career stages, across different art historical geographies. This session, we hope, will foster a dialogue across regions and religions of women’s religious communities, providing a fertile ground for discussion 

We invite interested applicants to submit a 250 word abstract and a short c.v. to Kristina Potuckova (kristina.potuckova@yale.edu) and Orsolya Mednyánszky (omednyanszky@jhu.edu) by September 10, 2019. 

CFP: Prologues in Learned Texts of Medieval Magic, Research Group on Manuscript Evidence (Kalamazoo 2020, Deadline 15th September 2019)

1.  Prologues in Learned Texts of Medieval Magic

Deadline for abstracts: 15 Sept 2019

Although the prologues of learned books of magic could take many forms, nearly all share at least one common characteristic: the claim to transmit a secret and pristine branch of knowledge. Such claims are frequently couched in the form of a narrative describing how this secret knowledge was originally revealed. Many employ the same actors (Hermes Trismegistus, King Solomon, Aristotle), the same objects (a tablet or disk made of precious material and inscribed with divine wisdom), and the same locations (a hidden cavern or lost pagan temple). These narratives helped to establish the authority of their texts, broadcast their affiliation with specific discourses, and signal how they should be read. Moreover, the prologues served to highlight the erudition of their authors through the use of classical and biblical references and often sophisticated word-play.

The aim of this session is to explore these still largely understudied prologues which testify to the variety of medieval approaches to “magic”. What do these prologues have to tell us about the institutional, cultural, and political milieux in which they were produced? How do certain recurring mythemes found in these prologues stand in relation to the various magical and divinatory arts, specifically those classified as natural or demonic? And to which philosophical, mystical, or religious beliefs do they appeal in order to justify the magical practices that they introduce?

Other potential topics relating to magical prologues include, but are not limited to

— the rhetoric of authority and the relation between power and secret knowledge

— the intersection of diverse intellectual traditions

— the continuity and reception of the Classical Tradition

— the appropriation of Jewish and Arabic traditions

— the relation between the tropes and mythemes found in magical prologues and those in other literary genres, such as prophecies and romances

— the assimilation of philosophical and medical texts

— the use of the Bible and biblical traditions

— philological and text-critical studies of magical prologues.

Please send your proposals to vajra.regan@mail.utoronto.ca by 15 September 2019.

More information here: http://manuscriptevidence.org/wpme/2020-international-congress-on-medieval-studies-call-for-papers/

Contact: Vajra Regan: vajra.regan@mail.utoronto.ca

Conference Programme: “Women and Violence in the Late Medieval Mediterranean, ca. 1100-1500, 27 September 2019

The last decades have witnessed an increased interest in research on the relationship between women and violence in the Middle Ages, with new works both on female criminality and on women as victims of violence. The contributions of gender theory and feminist criminology have renewed the approached used in this type of research. Nevertheless, many facets of the complex relationship between women and violence in medieval times still await to be explored in depth. This conference aims to understand how far the roots of modern assumptions concerning women and violence may be found in the late medieval Mediterranean, a context of intense cultural elaboration and exchange which many scholars have indicated as the cradle of modern judicial culture. While dialogue across the Mediterranean was constant in the late Middle Ages, occasions for comparative discussion remain rare for modern-day scholars, to the detriment of a deeper understanding of the complexity of many issues. Thus, we encourage specialists of different areas across the Mediterranean (Western Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic world) to contribute to the discussion. What were the main differences and similarities? How did these change through time? What were the causes for change? Were coexisting assumptions linking femininity and violence conflicting or collaborating?

The conference will take place over two days thanks to the generous contributions of The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, the Maison Française d’Oxford, and the UMR Orient- Mediterranée Monde Byzantin.

Keynote speakers
Professor Carol Lansing (UC Santa Barbara)
Professor Élisabeth Malamut (Université de Provence)
Conclusion by Professor Annick Peters-Custot (Université de Nantes)

This event is free. To secure your place, please register here.

Medieval jobs! Project curator for the British Museum’s exhibition on Thomas Becket

Vacancy for Project Curator: Becket

Project Curator: Becket
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
Full time
Fixed term (14 months in duration)
£25,285 per annum

Application deadline:  13 September 2019 by noon

 

The British Museum is seeking to recruit a Project Coordinator to support the Becket exhibition project team, working closely with the Lead Curators in the development and delivery of the exhibition and publication.

Key areas of responsibility:

  • To work as a core member of the Project Team, assisting the Lead Curators and Project Manager as well as liaising with other key internal stakeholders.
  • To manage and file project documentation and correspondence. To obtain necessary information on loans (dimensions, special condition requirements, credit lines and copyright) through liaising with lenders and International and Departmental loans officers.
  • To compile and manage a digital database with object list and images.
  • To track and monitor the movement of BM objects for the exhibition between departments (such as conservation and photography).
  • To assist the Lead Curators with background research, picture research and picture acquisition for the exhibition and publication, and to coordinate new photography and manage photographic orders.

Person specification:

With a degree in relevant subject, the successful candidate will have demonstrable museum experience, project experience and research experience. They will be an excellent communicator at all levels and a team player who thrives on challenge. They will be adaptable, resourceful, imaginative, with ability to assess priorities and meet deadlines. They will have high proficiency in Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and managing digital imagery.

Salary: £25,285 per annum
Location: London

Further details: https://bmrecruit.ciphr-irecruit.com//templates/CIPHR/jobdetail_1758.aspx 

On image copyright

Many followers of this blog doubtless struggle to obtain images for study, teaching and publication. Here are two recent and important contributions to the debate.

 

 

Kate Rudy considers the true costs of research and publishing in THE

An editorial in The British Art Journal (XX: 1) weighs in on the question of museums and copyright law in the UK (page 1 and page 2)

For OpenGLAM‘s list of institutions offering free access to images click here

What are your experiences?