Online Conference: ‘Fragments and Frameworks: Illuminated Manuscripts and Illustrated Books in Digital Humanities’, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 11am–4pm (EDT), 1 October 2021

The study of art history has long dealt with fragments and processes of fragmentation. Illuminated manuscripts and illustrated books in particular may have their fragments and folia fugitiva—pieces of material—separated from a whole collection or corpus. Many thousands of drawings and miniatures are dispersed around the world, including those donated to the National Gallery of Art by Lessing J. Rosenwald.

The adoption of open-access online collections has enabled new avenues for study. Open digital frameworks promise to bring new data and new attention to these objects and to ask critical questions about their provenance and conservation. 

This conference will discuss fragments and frameworks, actual and conceptual, in art history and related disciplines, and address emerging questions in digital humanities. What kinds of afterlives are incurred by processes of fragmentation and cutting? How does the concept of the frame or framework inform the study of illuminated manuscripts and illustrated books? How does the concept of (digital) remediation inform our approach to these works?  

Find out more here.

Advance registration required.

Conference Programme:

Morning Session: 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (EDT)

Steven Nelson, The Center, National Gallery of Art: Welcome

Matthew J. Westerby, moderator, The Center, National Gallery of Art

Catherine Yvard, Victoria and Albert Museum: Framing the Gaze: Some Thoughts on Illuminated Manuscripts and Cuttings

Cristina Dondi, Lincoln College, University of Oxford, and Secretary of CERL: Books as Fragments of Libraries—Illustrations as Fragments of Books: A Digital Illustrated Census of Dante’s Comedia (1481)

John Delaney and Michelle Facini, National Gallery of Art: Collaborative Technical Study and a Machine Learning Future for Illuminated Manuscripts

Bryan Keene, Riverside City College: Encompassing the Globe: Digital Scholarship and Virtual Reconstructions of Illuminated Manuscripts

Afternoon Session: 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (EDT)

Peter M. Lukehart, moderator, The Center, National Gallery of Art: Welcome and introduction

Lisa Fagin Davis, Medieval Academy of America: Medieval Fragments and Modern Fragmentology

LauraLee Brott, University of Wisconsin–Madison: The Materiality of Medieval Maps in the Age of Digital Discovery

Heather Bamford, George Washington University: Out of Practice, Uncertain Cultures

Matthew J. Westerby, The Center, National Gallery of Art: Frameworks for Fragments: The Digital Lives of Miniatures


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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