Author Archives: AJeffs

About AJeffs

Amy is doing a PhD at the University of Cambridge with Prof Paul Binski. She works on illustrated histories produced in England between 1240 and 1340. Alongside her PhD she is co-convening the Digital Pilgrim Project and edits Mausolus, the journal of the Mausolea and Monuments Trust.

Looking back: Medieval & Early Modern Festival, University of Kent, June 2017

The 16th-17th June 2017 was the third annual MEMS Festival, a two-day celebration of all things Medieval and Early Modern at the University of Kent. Papers covered all kinds of topics, from art and literature to politics, identity, and everyday life from the entire period. The range of material meant that lots of different areas of expertise were brought together, leading to interesting discussions and comparisons. There were also lots of exciting practical workshops, such as a “mystery trail” in the Special Collections and Archives and workshopping a scene from the York Corpus Christi play with Claire Wright (University of Kent).

DCrPNFYWsAARR7k.jpg

Kent undergraduate students present their final year dissertations

The two dedicated medieval art sessions covered objects from far and wide. The first panel looked at style and symbolism over the artistic networks in England and France. Cassandra Harrington (University of Kent) gave probably a paper on foliate head keystones, looking at a particular example from the chapter house at Cluny, and distinguishing them from the usual interpretation of such heads as “Green Men”. Angela Websdale’s (University of Kent) paper on the “lost” wall paintings at Faversham Cathedral investigated a potential Westminster workshop moving between London and Kent, while Alice Ball’s (University of Kent) considered images of the Prodigal Son, in particular how the iconography of the windows at Chartres cathedral may have influenced the Bibles Moralisees.

The second medieval art panel was made up of three students who had just finished their undergraduate degrees at the University of Kent, who all presented on their recently-completed dissertations. Michael Gittins gave a fresh look at a well-known object, considering the heraldry and weapons pictured in the Morgan Picture Bible to make a convincing argument that Walter of Brienne may have been the original patron. In contrast, Lucy Splarn’s paper turned towards a tiny and much less well-known pilgrimage badge of St Thomas Becket, looking at the unusual iconography of the saint riding a peacock (see embedded 3D model). This could have been a representation of Thomas’s personality, and the idea that he was arrogant in his outward appearance but humble inside, which tied in well with Paul Binski’s paper at the Thomas Becket study day on the concept of personality in the Middle Ages. Catherine Heydon gave the third paper, on the idea of Purgatory in the thought of St Augustine, thinking about the way in which the imagery of Classical thought influenced the theology of the early Church.

Medieval and Early Modern art made an appearance in other sessions as well. Hannah Straw (University of Kent) gave a paper on the imagery of Charles II’s escape in the Boswell Oak tree and how it was used to shape the king’s public identity. Emily Guerry (University of Kent) also looked at public identity and the use of history, by examining the significance of James Comey’s (mis)quotation of Henry II in his testimony, and the way in which the past can be used in the public imagination.

Each afternoon of the conference was taken up with activities and workshops, which was a great opportunity to get some hands-on work with objects and new technologies. This included a set of workshops and a tour of Eastbridge Pilgrim’s Hospital, which would have been a stopping point for hundreds of visitors to St Thomas’s shrine. Despite the ancient surroundings, two of these were on new technologies for approaching medieval objects and buildings, using GIS mapping and 3D modelling to see medieval art in a new way. Amy Jeffs (Digital Pilgrim Project) led a workshop on digitising pilgrim souvenirs and using software to enable better study and public appreciation of objects which are usually difficult to access, leading to a discussion on the benefits and potential issues of digitalisation. Tim Beach also used technologies to explore medieval art, but on a much larger scale, demonstrating how 3D laser scanning can be used to make a perfect 3D digital representation of medieval buildings, performing a live demonstration on the undercroft of Eastbridge Hospital itself.

DCifDAHWsAEtbx9

Attendees take part  in a workshop in the Eastbridge Hospital Chapel

The whole conference was an exciting look at new research and approaches to medieval and early modern history, and the diverse mix of papers meant that lots of interesting discussions were happening all through the weekend, finishing up in the beautiful space of Eastbridge Hospital. The festival showcased the new research in the History of Art emerging from the University of Kent, both in relation to the wealth of local art around Canterbury itself, and the international nature of work being done, with a particular focus on the art of France and networks between France and England.    

Review by Han Tame

Postgraduate, University of Kent

CfP, Louvre Study Day: Collecting Medieval Sculpture, 23rd – 24th Nov 2017

Musée du Louvre, Paris, November 23 – 24, 2017
Deadline: Aug 15, 2017

Ards Study Day 2017
Collecting Medieval Sculpture

Ards, M-Museum Leuven (B) is launching a Call for papers for the 4th
annual colloquium ‘Current research in medieval and renaissance
sculpture’, which will be held in the Musée du Louvre in Paris (FR) on
November 24th  2017.

During the colloquium we will be having keynote speakers on the topic
and a selection of submitted papers in plenum. One day before, on
November 23rd, we will have the opportunity to visit the magnificent
collection of medieval sculpture in the Arts décoratifs Muséum in Paris
as well as other suggested excursions.

This year we are inviting all researchers and curators working
specifically on and with specific sculpture collections or collectors
to submit papers. Firstly, we want to take a look at collecting
medieval sculpture. How did or do medieval sculpture collections get
formed? How has medieval sculpture been collected in the past
(including in the middle ages and renaissance period) and how is this
evolving right now?
We know the prices on the art market are slowly rising as medieval
sculpture is becoming increasingly more interesting as an investment.
Can we take a closer look at what’s happening in that area? In december
2014 the Getty Museum acquired a rare medieval alabaster sculpture of
Saint Philip by the Master of the Rimini Altarpiece at Sotheby’s for no
less than 542,500 GBP. If a small statuette by an anonymous master can
generate this kind of money at a sale, this must mean the ‘market’ for
medieval sculpture is shifting thoroughly.
Moreover, does the exhibition or publication of medieval sculpture
influence this trend? It is a fact that the more we know about an art
piece or artist, the more interesting it becomes to buy or exhibit
them. What are the motifs or instigating factors for museums and
private collectors to collect this intrinsiquely religiously inspired
and therefore (?) ‘less attractive’ discipline. Links can be drawn to
the abolition of churchly instances at the end of the 19th century and
the gothic revival in the 19th century, the export of mainland
patrimony to the United Kingdom.

Would you like to submit a paper for this conference? Your proposal can
be of an art-historical, historical as well as a technical or
scientific nature. Multidisciplinarity is encouraged.

Priority will be given to speakers presenting new findings and
contributions relevant to the specific conference theme. The conference
committee, consisting of sculpture curators from M – Museum Leuven will
select papers for the conference. Submissions that are not selected for
presentation in plenum, can still be taken into consideration for
(digital) poster presentation.There are no fees, nor retribution of
transport and/or lodging costs for the selected papers. After the
conference, presentations will be shared online with the Ards-network
on the website, so please make sure your pictures are copyright cleared.

How to submit your proposal?
– Write in English or French. Presentations are given in English or
French.
– Include a short CV.
– Max. 500 words for abstracts
(excl. authors name(s) and contact details).
– E-mail to marjan.debaene@leuven.be.
– Deadline: 31.08.17.
Successful applicants will receive a notification by 15.09.17.
For more info, visit www.ards.be

Conf: The Book as Medium: Medieval Manuscripts & their Functions, VIENNA (1st – 2nd Sep 2017)

01. – 02.09.2017
Registration deadline: Aug 15, 2017

Das Buch als Medium – Mittelalterliche Handschriften und ihre Funktionen
Interdisziplinäre Graduiertentagung

Universität Wien
Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Altes AKH
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 9
1090 Wien

While participation is free we ask that delegates register via this link by 15. August 2017:
tagung.buchfunktion.kunstgeschichte@univie.ac.at

PROGRAMM

Freitag, 01. September 2017

08:30 – 09:00 Uhr: Registrierung, Kennenlernen, Kaffee
09:00 – 09:15 Uhr: Grußworte

09:15 – 10:15 Uhr: Keynote
09:15 – 10:15 Uhr Kathryn Rudy (St. Andrews)

10:15 – 10:30 Uhr: Pause

10:30 – 12:00 Uhr: Vorträge (Moderation: Gerd Micheluzzi)
10:30 Uhr
Kristina Kogler (Wien): Vidal Mayor – Die Bebilderung einer
aragonesischen Rechtshandschrift
10:50 Uhr     Diskussion
11:00 Uhr
Bernhard Kjölbye (Graz): Über den Bildschmuck der ‚Zwettler Bärenhaut‘
aus genealogischer Sicht
11:20 Uhr Diskussion
11:30 Uhr
Philippa Sissis (Berlin): Zwischen Lesen und Schreiben – Humanistische
Inszenierung in Relation zum Text
11:50 Uhr Diskussion

12:00 – 14:00 Uhr: Mittagspause

14:00 – 18:30 Uhr: Ausflug zum Augustiner-Chorherrenstift
Klosterneuburg (für Mitwirkende)

19:00 Uhr: Abendessen

Samstag, 02. September

08:45 – 09:00 Uhr: Kaffee

09:00 – 10:30 Uhr: Vorträge (Moderation: Christina Jackel)
09:00 Uhr
Sophie Zimmermann (Wien): Büchergenealogien. Über imaginierten und
tatsächlichen Verlust deutschsprachiger Texte und Handschriften
09:20 Uhr Diskussion
09:30 Uhr
Timo Bülters (Oxford): Auf Spurensuche im Kloster – Ein niederdeutsches
Kräuterbuch in Nonnenhand
09:50 Uhr Diskussion
10:00 Uhr
Giulia Rossetto (Wien): Using and Re-Using Parchment Manuscripts: The
Case of the Byzantine Prayer-Books
10:20 Uhr Diskussion

10:30 – 10:50 Uhr: Pause

10:50 – 12:20 Uhr: Vorträge (Moderation: Lena Sommer)
10:50 Uhr
Alexander Hödlmoser (Wien):    Die Österreichische Chronik der Jahre
1454 bis 1467. Editorische Anmerkungen zur Arbeit am Text – damals und
heute
11:10 Uhr Diskussion
11:20 Uhr
Eszter Nagy (Budapest): The Function of Mythological Images in Books of
Hours from Rouen
11:40 Uhr     Diskussion
11:50 Uhr
Irina von Morzé (Wien): Eine Weltgeschichte für den Kaiser: Rom, BAV,
Vat. lat. 5697 (vor 1437)
12:10 Uhr Diskussion

12:20 – 13:45 Uhr: Mittagspause

13:45 – 14:45 Uhr: Vorträge (Moderation: Sophie Dieberger)
13:45 Uhr
Lisa Horstmann (Heidelberg): Der »Welsche Gast« von Thomasin von
Zerclaere. Veränderung der Bild-Text-Relation in 300 Jahren
Überlieferungsgeschichte
14:05 Uhr Diskussion
14:15 Uhr
Maximilian Wick (München): Die Leidener Wigalois-Handschrift – Ausdruck
einer subversiven Theologie?
14:35 Uhr Diskussion

14:50 – 15:10 Uhr: Pause

15:10 – 16:10 Uhr: Vorträge (Moderation: Silvia Hufnagel)
15:10 Uhr
Stefanie Krinninger (Göttingen): „Het ich nu kunsten spyse / in mir,
daz ich […] / in ditz buch […] / Ein rede kunde getichten …“. Zum
Kunstbegriff des späten Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit
15:30 Uhr Diskussion
15:40 Uhr
Dennis Wegener (Wien): Das handschriftlich nachgetragene 117. Kapitel
des Theuerdank-Drucks Rar. 325a der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München
16:00 Uhr Diskussion

16:10 – 16:30 Uhr: Pause

16:30 – 17:30 Uhr: Vorträge (Moderation: Andrea Riedl)
16:30 Uhr
Justyna Kuczyńska (Krakau): The Franciscan Breviary (Ms. Czart. 1211)
in the Library of Princes Czartoryski in Kraków as a Masterpiece of the
Neapolitan Illumination Art under the Aragonese Dynasty
16:50 Uhr Diskussion
17:00 Uhr
Christina Weiler (Wien): Die Meditationes vitae Christi –
Franziskanische Devotionshandschriften des Trecento
17:20 Uhr Diskussion

17:20 – 18:00 Uhr: Abschlussdiskussion

Book Review: Revisiting the Monument: Fifty Years since Panofsky’s Tomb Sculpture

Revisiting the Monument: Fifty Years since Panofsky’s Tomb Sculpture

Ann Adams and Jessica Barker (eds.), Courtauld Books Online, 2016

Robert Hawkins reviews a recent publication from the Courtauld Institute of Art

In 1964, Erwin Panofsky published Tomb Sculpture: Four Lectures on its Changing Aspects from Ancient Egypt to Bernini. The first line of the book states that it was a text ‘not intended for publication’: it was prepared as a ‘little series of public lectures’, given at The Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. Panofsky warned his friends: ‘Please don’t read the rather superficial text… Just look at the pictures which are, for the most part, quite nice’. The book, he claimed, had an index ‘produced by an idiot’ and was ‘very superficial … in part misleading, and horrible to look at’.

Nonetheless, it has become a canonical work, largely because of the un-matched scope of the study and the extensive illustrations. Despite Panofsky’s own dismissive remarks, the text has obvious merits: it deftly organises three millennia of disparate sculpture to produce comprehensible narratives, offering terms that begin to get a handle on the different ways that funerary sculpture might function. He sets up characteristic polarities between, for instance, ‘retrospective’ monuments (which recall past life) and ‘prospective’ monuments (which anticipate after-life) or between flat, schematic relief and plastic, naturalising sculpture. The dichotomies are occasionally crude, but they give a rough road map by which the sprawling landscape might begin to be navigated.

This new collection of essays, edited by Jessica Barker and Ann Adams and published by Courtauld Books Online, contains both ‘retrospective’ and ‘prospective’ approaches. Some essays look back to specific issues raised by Panofsky’s original text; some look forward to new avenues opening up in the study of tomb sculpture. Of course, these two approaches are co-dependent, for it is often through the remembering of things past that windows are opened onto future possibilities. The editors have narrowed the scope by presenting a series of ‘short stories’, focusing on medieval and Renaissance topics, in response to Panofsky’s original epic narrative.

The essays are presented in three sections. Section 1 deals most explicitly with Panofsky’s text, contextualizing it (Susie Nash’s account of the original’s compilation and publication is full of archival insight) and complicating its arguments (Shirin Fozi, Robert Marcoux, and Geoffrey Nuttall).  Section 2 considers the relationships between monuments and their viewers: Jessica Barker deals with juxtapositions of visible/invisible and corrupted/incorruptible bodies; Luca Palozzi forges literary links with Petrarch; James Cameron describes the relationship between funerary monuments and liturgical seating. Section 3 addresses material issues, proceeding from Kim Woods’ observation that materials are almost entirely absent from Panofsky’s discussion to corrective essays by Sanne Frequin, Matthew Reeves, and Martha Dunkelman. Ann Adams addresses the fact that monumental brasses are missing from Panofsky’s text (only one example features, from St James’ Church, Draycot Cerne, Wiltshire). Adams’ essay is good example of the book in its additive mode – brasses at Cleves, Nijmegen, Geldern, and in England, are brought into the discussion, in an attempt to counter the idea that all tomb brasses were subordinate to their marble equivalents.

Many passages evidence a growing awareness among contemporary scholars of the problems raised by studying monuments from photographs alone. This is stressed, for example, by Shirin Fozi in her essay ‘From the Pictorial to the Statuesque: Two Romanesque Effigies and the Problem of Plastic Form’, and by Geoffrey Nuttall, who sees Panofsky’s reliance on photographs taken from above as the ‘primary cause’ of his misinterpretation of the Trenta tomb. Nuttall, building on the ideas of John Shearman, considers the ‘activation’ of Crivelli and Pecci tomb slabs when positioned in real space and seen from the differing perspectives of a moving spectator. Panofsky’s original publication did indeed rely mainly on stock images for the illustrations and therefore on well-established, canonical viewpoints (although, as Susie Nash points out, Panofsky was not insensitive to the problems this created and on one occasion requested a new photograph be made in order to illustrate a particular angle of view). Particularly in the third section, ‘Monuments and Materials’, the authors make use of first-hand access and technical innovations that were simply unavailable to Panofsky, who worked primarily from photographs. A recurring theme of these new essays, then, facilitated and perhaps engendered by these practical developments, is the desire to consider the experience of an embodied, mobile spectator.

There is a certain consensus of opinion among the contributing authors and it recurs as a refrain at the start of each essay: all agree Panofsky’s original book ought to be admired (particularly for its magisterial breadth, which has not since been rivaled), but that its enormous scope means that its analysis lacked depth and that there is consequently work to be done by modern scholars, expanding, deepening, complicating, revising. The authors stress the importance of placing tombs within specific contexts (artistic, spatial, liturgical), ‘expanding and destabilising the neat teleological narrative proposed by Panofsky’. But it remains an argument with, rather than against, Panofsky. In this sense this book is part of a current trend of renewed interest in Panofsky’s oeuvre. Christopher Lakey, for example, is revisiting the arguments of Panofsky’s Perspective as Symbolic Form, maintaining their general shape but probing and interrogating the difficult details.

In Revisiting the Monument we find many examples of the same strategy of destabilising Panofsky’s arguments in order to uphold them. Robert Marcoux, for example, responds in his essay to a 1965 review of Panofsky’s book, which judged the catagories of ‘Prospection’ and ‘Retrospection’ to be rather arbitrary. Marcoux, anxious not to make the same mistake, instead proposes ‘more of a dialectical way of understanding the rich diversity of medieval tombs by presenting the notions of retrospection and prospection as two poles between which the commemoration of the dead oscillates in the later Middle Ages’. So this is a fantasia on a theme by Panofsky – a richer, more polyphonic re-scoring, perhaps – but the melody remains recognizable.

There are occasional frustrating lapses into obfuscation: ‘the material specificity of the tomb slab’, writes one contributor, ‘is that it is intrinsically linked to the grave by serving as its cover.’ And there is some caricaturing of Panofsky’s original position: Sanne Frequin claims that Panofsky discussed only iconography and not ‘material’ – but surely the two meet in his discussion of sculptural plasticity, which is dealt with eloquently elsewhere in this volume by Shirin Fozi. Largely, though, the essays are clear and well-argued, and together they make for a thorough review of the topic.

The book’s title sets up an illuminating metaphor (which runs throughout, most explicitly in Susie Nash’s essay): it suggests that Tomb Sculpture is itself now a commemorative monument, to be contextualized, critiqued and analysed. Indeed, Panofsky was aware of its likely funerary function: so delayed was the publication of the original book that it nearly became a tombstone for its aging author. ‘I begin to be afraid that the Tombs will really appear as a post-humous memorial’, he wrote, ‘… but I should not mind’. These new essays, then, serve to extend, repair and elaborate upon the original monument. They work, just as a piece of tomb sculpture works, to (as Shirin Fozi has it) ‘retool a problematic legacy as a larger spiritual success.’ And although teleogies are questioned and lacunae interrogated, much of the fabric of the original book continues to be venerated. So often, it seems, Panofsky’s almost-instinct has proven almost true. And what will survive of his monumental text, therefore, is love.

Robert Hawkins, PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge

Review first published in the Summer 2017 issue of Mausolus, the Journal of the Mausolea and Monuments Trust

TODAY: Leeds IMC, Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, Session 703

The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland will be running its first conference session this year at the Leeds International Medieval Congress.

Session 703 – Tuesday 4 July 2017 – 14.15 to 15.45

The following papers will be delivered:

Ron Baxter (Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland, London) – The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture and the Medieval Workshop (paper 703-a);

James King (The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland, London) – The Romanesque Sculpture of Dunfermline Abbey and Its Influence: Evidence and Some Questions (paper 703-b);

Agata Gomółka (Department of Art History & World Art Studies, University of East Anglia) – Carving Romanesque Bodies (paper 703-a).

Abtstract

Romanesque art and architecture was transnational in a European context.
The architectural sculpture produced in the British Isles and Ireland during the late
11th and 12th centuries demonstrates the visceral connection between these off-
shore islands and mainland Europe at that time. In its inaugural session at the IMC,
the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland (CRSBI) is seen to reveal
some of the ways in which its searchable and fully illustrated database enables art
historians to build an understanding of Romanesque stone carving by identifying
authorship, tracing the diffusion of carved ornament, recreating workshop practice,
and reimagining aesthetic criteria. Launched in 1987 by Professor George Zarnecki
with British Academy support and now affiliated also to King’s College London, the
CRSBI is an Open Access website comprising illustrated records of the Romanesque
sculpture at some five thousand sites in Britain and Ireland.

CfP: Medieval Echo Chambers: Ideas in Space and Time, College Art Association Annual Conference Los Angeles, 21-24 February 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: ICMA @ CAA

Medieval Echo Chambers: Ideas in Space and Time
College Art Association Annual Conference
Los Angeles, 21-24 February 2018

Session sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art

CFP Deadline: 14th August 2017

In recent decades, historians of medieval art and architecture have begun to think about the ways in which the interaction of objects, images, and performances were focused by particular medieval spaces. Whether directed towards a powerful cumulative spirituality, a slowly-accruing political self-fashioning, or more everyday performances of social coherence, it is clear that medieval space had the power to bind together sometimes quite disparate objects, forming their multiple parts into coherent messages for different types of viewers.

Thus far, however, such discussions have largely chosen to focus on individual moments of such consonance, thinking through the medieval Gesamtkunstwerk in only one particular iteration. This session proposes to expand this type of thinking beyond the snapshot by considering how medieval spaces could not only encourage resonance between objects in the moment but also echo these ideas over time. How did certain medieval spaces act as ideological echo chambers? How did certain spaces encourage particular recurring patterns of patronage, reception, or material reflection? How did people in the Middle Ages respond aesthetically to the history of spaces they inhabited, and how did they imagine these spaces’ future?

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that focus on material from any part of the Middle Ages, broadly defined both chronologically and geographically.

Paper topics might address, but are by no means limited to:

  • longue durée narratives showcasing the continuous interaction of objects and architecture.
  • the resonance of particular quotidian spaces—marketplaces, bridges, squares—with objects and performances over time and across evolving audiences.
  • relationships emerging over time between certain types of space and certain types of artist or craftsman
  • documents and performances through which the evolving histories of particular spaces and objects were remembered, reiterated, repeated
  • the role of the immaterial—sound, light, smell, touch—in drawing together spaces and objects, and the issues associated with charting these relationships over time
  • medieval spaces that continue to foster relationships with objects of the classical world
  • medieval interactions between objects and space that project into the early modern period and beyond
  • ‘future spaces’, which point to times and places beyond themselves, whether an imminent reality or a more fantastical future

250-word proposals should be sent with a short academic CV to Jack Hartnell (j.hartnell@uea.ac.uk) and Jessica Barker (j.barker@uea.ac.uk) by 14th August 2017.

Accepted speakers may be eligible to apply for ICMA-Kress Travel Grants to support travel to and from Los Angeles. For more information, see: http://www.medievalart.org/kress-travel-grant

Organisers:
Dr Jack Hartnell, Lecturer in Art History (UEA, Norwich)
Dr Jessica Barker, Lecturer in Art History (UEA, Norwich)

CfP: (Im)mobility: Dialectics of Movement, Power & Resistance, LSE (28/11/2017)

The London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) is pleased to announce the cross-disciplinary student-led conference (Im)mobility: Dialectics of Movement, Power and Resistance, which will be hosted by the PhD Academy of the London School of Economics on 28 November 2017 (10am – 5pm).

The keynote speaker will be Dr Alexander Samson, Reader in Early Modern Studies at University College London.

The Call for Papers is open until 30 July 2017. View it online or download the PDF.

Venue: PhD Academy, London School of Economics, Lionel Robbins Building (4th floor), 10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD, United Kingdom.