Online Lecture: ‘The Martial Maid’: Armored Women in the European Imaginary’, 8 Jan 2022 @ 2PM EST

‘The Martial Maid’: Armored Women in the European Imaginary – online lecture by Dr. Chassica (Chaz) Kirchhoff, Assistant Curator of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 • 2:00 pm — 3:00 pm EST

Armor is a category of material and visual culture that was inextricably linked to constructions and performances of masculinity in late medieval and early modern Europe. But what did it mean to depict or describe a female body encased in such a symbolic carapace of steel? Moreover, how could the act of donning armor transform a real woman in the eyes of her contemporaries and for posterity? Presented in conjunction with the Toledo Museum of Art’s current exhibition, The Age of Armor: Treasures from the Higgins Armory Collection at the Worcester Art Museum, this talk will explore stories, images, and texts created between the late fourteenth and the early seventeenth century, when plate armor was central to martial identity and experience. These case studies offer lenses through which to examine the persistent allure of the armored female body for both historical and contemporary readers and viewers.

The Age of Armor: Treasures from the Higgins Armory Collection at the Worcester Art Museum is sponsored locally by presenting sponsors Taylor Cadillac and Susan and Tom Palmer, as well as 2021 Exhibition Program sponsor ProMedica, with additional support from the McLoughlin Family Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, and the TMA Ambassadors. More information can be read here.

This event is free and open to the public. Join the lecture on January 8 at 2 pm EST here:


Published by Blair Apgar

Blair (they/them) recently completed their PhD in History of Art at the University of York with Hanna Vorholt and Amanda Lillie. Their thesis focused on the role of Matilda of Canossa in the sociopolitical development of the Investiture Controversy, and its relationship to Matilda’s material patronage. As an early career researcher, their work aims to unpack the historiographic construction of powerful medieval women’s legacies. They are also interested in the representation of the Middle Ages in modern media.

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