Online Lecture Series: A Material World: Devotion, The Warburg Institute

A Material World is a new events series hosted by the Warburg Institute which focuses on the reconstruction of life in the past through objects and materials, the people who made them and the people who used them. Combining public lectures, student seminars and live object-based presentations across three terms, the series brings together academics and heritage professionals from a wide range of disciplines including history, art history, cultural history, archaeology, anthropology, history of religion and museum studies. The series will discuss issues concerning historical objects, their materials, forms, and functions, as well as their conservation, presentation, display, and reconstruction. It offers a broad social perspective, being concerned not only with the highest strata of society, but also with marginalised peoples and their habits concerning the production and consumption of everyday items.

The three combined lecture-seminar sessions of 2020-21 will be on the theme of Devotion.

Photo: ©️ Gordon Plumb

Find out more information here.

Autumn 2020 Programmme

The Oxburgh Hall Finds

Thursday 26 November, 5.30pm – 7pm | Presented by Anna Forrest (National Trust)

Anna Forrest examines how the recent discoveries at Oxburgh Hall shed light on the vibrant material culture of recusant Catholics at a time of persecution. As the Oxburgh Hall project is still in its early stages, this lecture presents a key opportunity to discover how curators go about analysing objects, and start to formulate conclusions, while a project is still evolving. 

Book here.

Daily life and popular piety

Friday 27 November, 3pm – 4.30pm | Presented by Meriel Jeter (Museum of London)

Meriel Jeter, Museum of London curator and contributor to the new book, The Art of the Poor, will present some of the museum’s rich holdings of medieval pilgrims’ souvenirs in this object-based session, live from the Museum of London via Zoom. Meriel will address the manufacture and use of these objects, as well as issues involved in their conservation and curation, and how curators use material culture findings to help reconstruct aspects of life from the past.

This seminar is designed for postgraduates at MA and research level studying art history, cultural history, archaeology, anthropology, history of religion, museum studies and related fields.

Book here.


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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