Author Archives: roisingrace

About roisingrace

A current first year PhD Art Historian. Lover of tea, cats and all things Medieval.

Murray Seminars at Birkbeck, Autumn 2019

16 October, Lisa Monnas

Vestments and Textiles in Hans Memling’s ‘God with Singing and Music-making Angels 

Three large panels in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, painted by Hans Memling in the 1480’s, represent a heavenly scene framed by clouds, which part to reveal the central figure of God attended by sixteen singing and music-making angels. Thye once formed the top of the high altarpiece of the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria la Réal in Nájera, in Spain. In the central panel, God is depicted vested as priest and ruler, and the angels in this and in the flanking scenes wear clerical dress. The work has been interpreted as relating to the Good Friday liturgy and the Exaltation of the Cross, but since the panels originally formed the top of an altarpiece whose main subject was the Assumption of the Virgin, this is open to doubt. This paper will re-examine the vestments and textiles in the newly conserved panels, assessing their ‘realism’ and their contribution to the heavenly scene. It will also consider them in the wider context of some of Memling’s other works.

14 November, Jana Gajdosova

Sculpted Genealogies: The Effigies of Bohemian rulers in Prague Cathedral

With the death of Wenceslas III, the Přemyslid dynasty, which had ruled Bohemia for over four centuries, came to an end. The murder of the young king created chaos in the kingdom for several decades; however, after the marriage of Elizabeth of Přemyslid and John of Luxembourg and the subsequent birth of Charles IV (1316 – 1378), Bohemia reached the height of its political and cultural power in Europe. Charles IV saw himself as a bridge between two Bohemian dynasties – the Přemyslids of the past and the Luxembourgs of his envisioned future. This link was communicated with painted genealogies in at least three of Charles’ castles, and with staged genealogies across Prague. The fascination that Charles had with re-imagining and visualizing his role within the dynastic shift that occurred also found expression in the sculpted genealogies which are the subject of this paper—specifically the effigies of Přemyslids rulers commissioned by Charles IV for Prague Cathedral, which were made to communicate these ideas in sculpture and across real space.

5 December, Marie-Louise Lillywhite 

Blood is Thicker than Water: Artists, Friends and Family Alliances in Seventeenth-Century Venice

How did Venetian artists forge alliances to advance their interests and ensure the continuation of their workshops? Focusing on the painter Palma il Giovane, this paper explores his concerted efforts to continue his family name through strategic marriages, and safeguard his success through advantageous friendships. This study will demonstrate how these potentially positive relationships impacted artistic production in Venice for better, or indeed worse.

All this term’s seminars take place in the History of Art Department at Birkbeck (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in Room 114 (The Keynes Library) at 5pm.  Talks finish by 5.50pm (allowing those with other commitments to leave) and are then followed by discussion and refreshments.  We hope to see you there.


CFP: New Directions in Carolingian and Ottonian Art: Assessing the Field (I-II) (Kalamazoo, 2019)

54th International Congress on Medieval Studies University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, Michigan May 9-12, 2019

Session Organizers: Joseph Salvatore Ackley (University of Arkansas) and Eliza Garrison (Middlebury College)

Long marginalized in the anglophone tradition of medieval art history, the study of Carolingian and Ottonian art has recently generated, over the last two decades, a striking chain of pathbreaking studies that have shaped and inflected the discipline in decisive ways. If earlier studies of Carolingian and Ottonian material were devoted to questions of dating, attribution, and the localization of workshops, more recent inquiries have considered questions of gender, representation, materiality, religious reform, temporality, and the role of the artist. As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Adam Cohen’s pioneering The Uta Codex: Art, Philosophy, and Reform in Eleventh-Century Germany, which appeared in 2000, the organizers of this double session seek papers from historians of Carolingian and Ottonian art and architecture that display a broad range of innovative methodological approaches to artworks created in all media. Papers that attend to issues of historiography – a particularly charged and complicated conversation for these monuments – and to artworks created and built at the edges of the Carolingian and Ottonian empires are especially welcome.

To propose a paper, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, together with a completed Participant Information Form (, to Joseph Salvatore Ackley ( and Eliza Garrison ( by September 15, 2018.

CFP: ICMA-sponsored session at 54th ICMS (Kalamazoo, 9-12 May, 2019)

The Other Half of Heaven: Visualizing Female Sanctity in East and West (c. 1200-1500) I-II

An ICMA-sponsored session at the 54th ICMS (International Congress of Medieval Studies) Kalamazoo, 9-12 May 2019

If, according to the well-known Chinese proverb, women hold half the sky, did medieval female saints hold half of heaven? In her book of 1998, Forgetful of their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society, ca. 500-1100, Jane Schulenburg calculated that of over 2200 female and male saints examined, only one in seven (or 15%) were women. Although documentation on medieval women is notably scarce, this gender-based asymmetry in the celestial realm clearly reflected the values and hierarchy of earthly society.

Female saints were exceptional women who gained social status, popular recognition and enhanced visibility through sainthood. Medieval female sanctity is a multi-faceted phenomenon, which has been mainly explored through words. Historians and literary scholars have fruitfully mined historical and hagiographical texts not only to draw ‘facts’ about the lives of female saints but also to elucidate social mentalities and highlight gender issues. Holy women, however, were also represented on a variety of media, most notably on icons, frescoes, manuscript illuminations and other artworks. Nevertheless, despite the wealth of historical and hagiographical scholarship on female saints, their visual representations have been exploited almost exclusively in stylistic or iconographic terms.

The aim of this session is to consider female sanctity in visual terms both in Western Europe and the Byzantine East. By exploring representations of women saints and their changing iconography, it aspires to shed light on their status and experience in late medieval society. It will examine images of holy women as embodiments of cultural models and explore the social and religious environment that shaped their visual constructions. In the highly symbolic world of the Middle Ages, representations of female saints can become a vehicle for multiple interpretations, including social status, gender, identity, ethnicity and collective memory.

Some of the issues to be addressed include but are not restricted to:

  • Visual narratives and iconographic attributes defining female sanctity
  • The corporeality of female saints and the representation of the holy body
  • The iconography of transvestite holy women
  • Out of sight, out of mind: forgotten saints and newcomers
  • The relation between female holy images and text in illuminated manuscripts
  • The influence of mendicant literature on picturing female sanctity
  • One saint, many images: changes in iconography and meaning
  • Iconographic variations of the Virgin in East and West


Participants in ICMA-sponsored sessions are eligible to receive travel funds, generously provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The Kress funds are allocated for travel and hotel only. Speakers will be refunded only after the conference, against travel receipts.

Please send paper proposals of 300 words to the Chair of the ICMA Programs Committee, Beth Williamson ( by September 1, 2018, together with a completed Participant Information Form, to be found at the following address: 

Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to the Congress administration for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.

CFP: Intersectional Medievalisms (54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 9-12 May 2019)

Intersectional Medievalisms

54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 9 to 12, 2019

Organizers: Bryan C. Keene (The J. Paul Getty Museum) and Benjamin C. Tilghman (Washington College)

Sponsored by The J. Paul Getty Museum

The close ties between medieval revivalism and the construction of cultural identities have long been recognized. The appropriation of the medieval past by white supremacist and nationalist groups has especially attracted comment over the past two years, and many scholars of medieval studies have traced those appropriations and highlighted the myths and misconceptions upon which they are built. The association of medievalism with the construction of normative (white, heterosexual, cisgender, Christian) identity has come to be so strong that it is often assumed that those who fall outside such identity groups would (or even should) have little or no interest in the Middle Ages. That this belief, which can troublingly be found in in the scholarly community just as much as the general public, is patently false could readily be seen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2018 “Heavenly Bodies” Gala. But similar to the invocation of the medieval past by such artists as Kehinde Wiley and Ron Athey, the medievalism of the Met Gala was treated somewhat superficially, with more concern for the glamor of the event than the complex coding of the fashion and its wearers. These sessions will consider the important, if often unmentioned, intersectional practice of medievalism in contemporary culture through papers and discussion about the use of medieval motifs and themes in contemporary works in any media by writers, performers, musicians, and artists of color and by queer and trans-identifying creators. As such, these sessions seek to be a first step towards a fuller consideration of medievalisms that range outside the customary assumptions about to whom the Middle Ages presents a usable past.

Intersectional Medievalisms I: Creators of Color

Even as medievalists have become much more attuned to the presence of people of color in medieval Europe, they have yet to fully consider the presence of the Middle Ages in the art, poetry, music, and other cultural expressions of contemporary people of color. While the references to medieval (and early modern) culture in such works as Kehinde Wiley’s paintings and Jay-Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail have been widely recognized, the arguably more complex reworkings of medieval culture by Rashaad Newsome, RAMMΣLLZΣΣ, and Derrick Austin have thus far gained little notice. What is the medieval in the work of these artists? A contested source of oppression? A tool for cultural renegotiation and redefinition? A seductive space of myth and beauty? Must their use of the medieval past be understood necessarily as a pointed appropriation, or can it be seen as the mining of just another source of raw cultural material? Speakers are encouraged to consider not only the stakes of medievalism in this particular cultural moment, but also other aspects of these creators’ intellectual projects, such as the explorations of semiotics, phenomenology, intermedia creation, ornament and surface, and temporality that run through many of these works.

Intersectional Medievalisms II: Queering the Medieval

The scholarly approach of “queering” the past has revealed otherwise invisible, erased, or censored facets of medieval identity and relationships. This methodology also disrupts the cisgender and heteronormative binaries that all-too-often remain pervasive in the academy and in the popularly imagined Middle Ages. LGBTQ+ artists have also addressed these issues, at times turning to broadly-conceived medievalisms. Ron Athey, Gabriel Garcia Roman, and others evoke the cult of saints in their work, a poignant commentary about acceptance by the Catholic (and broader Christian) community. The relationship between medieval chant and the vocal performances of Meredith Monk and Oblivia deserves greater attention, as does the architectural and advertising medievalism of queer clubs, lounges, and Pride events (a project begun by the late Michael Camille). By focusing on the relationship between a creators’ identity and their conception of the medieval, we encourage speakers to consider how medievalism is practiced in contemporary culture and how to open the academy or museum as spaces of greater inclusion and dialogue.

While the two sessions will be split to allow for a sharper focus on the role of race and of gender and sexual identity in contemporary creative medievalism, the aim of these sessions is for all the work presented to be resolutely intersectional, looking to trace and illuminate connections rather than delineating borders.

To propose a paper, please send a one-page abstract and a completed Participant Information Form (available via the Congress website) by September 15 to Bryan C.Keene ( and Benjamin C. Tilghman ( More information about the Congress can be found here:

CFP: Panel Swiss history day (Zurich, 5-7 June 2019)

— German —

Zürich. Fünfte Schweizerische Geschichtstage, 5.-7. Juni 2019, 05. – 07.06.2019
Deadline: Aug 31, 2018

Teuer – teurer – unbezahlbar: Kommunaler Kirchenbau im späteren Mittelalter

Kommunale Kirchenbauten des späteren Mittelalters prägen bis heute das Bild mitteleuropäischer Städte. Die ressourcenverbrauchenden Bauprojekte wurden vor allem von den jeweiligen Bürgerschaften getragen, da die Einnahmen aus kirchlichen Abgaben bei weitem nicht ausgereicht hätten. Dieses bürgerliche Engagement erklärt sich vor allem damit, dass die prosperierenden Kommunen im Kirchenbau gewissermassen eine Hülle für städtische Selbstdarstellung erkannt hatten. Man verfolgte in Abgrenzung und in Konkurrenz zu anderen Städten repräsentative Visualisierungsstrategien. Ab dem 14. Jahrhundert entstand eine neue – immer teurere – Formensprache am Baukörper, die aber letztlich dazu führte, dass nur die allerwenigsten Bauprojekte abgeschlossen werden konnten – erst das historisierende 19. Jahrhundert vollendete die gotischen Architekturträume: Köln, Ulm, Bern, Regensburg usw. Doch spielte neben der wirtschaftlichen Überspannung auch der abrupte Umbruch ethischer und ästhetischer Vorstellungen durch die Reformation eine erhebliche Rolle für den Einsatz der Ressourcen.

Ein zweites strukturelles Phänomen prägte indes die Bauentwicklung. Durch das kommunale Engagement und die Übernahme wichtiger bauplanerischer Entscheidungen, die bislang beim Klerus lagen, lässt sich eine legitimierende Praktik der Kommunalpolitik nachweisen, steht doch außer Zweifel, dass die Bürger das mehrschichtige Potential einer gezielt städtisch konnotierten Kunstpolitik erkannten und auch entsprechend zu akzentuieren wussten. Jene bisweilen übertriebenen Kirchenbaupläne wurden durch die Kirchenfabriken vorangetrieben, die mit den kommunalen Vertretungen, in der Regel dem Rat, eng verzahnt waren. Zu fragen ist daher, ob von spezifischen „Kunstregeln“ ausgegangen werden kann, die durch die Auftraggeber vorgegeben wurden. Neben der Frage nach einem kommunalen „Kunstwissen“, das für die Darstellung von Prosperität und Reichtum eine bedeutende Rolle spielte, ist zudem nach dem vorhandenen „Finanzwissen“ zu fragen, mit dem die Abwicklung der komplexen Kirchenbauprojekte erfolgte.

Das Panel sucht aus der Perspektive von Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte sowie aus der Kunstgeschichte die Phänomene von interkommunalem und innerstädtischem Wettbewerb und dem Städtischen Kunst- und Verwaltungswissen mit der Frage nach den überbordenden Stilentwicklungen der Epoche in Verbindung zu bringen.

Kontakt Für weitere Auskünfte steht Ihnen Barbara Holler, Koordinatorin der Schweizerischen Geschichtstage 2019, unter der Mailadresse gerne zur Verfügung


— English Translation —

(CFP: Panel Swiss history day (Zurich, 5-7 June 19))

Zurich. Fifth Swiss history days, 5th-7th June 2019, 05 – 07.06.2019
Deadline: August 31, 2018

Expensive – more expensive – Priceless: Local church in the later Middle Ages

Local churches of the later Middle Ages still shape the image of Central European cities. The resource-consuming construction projects were mainly driven by the respective citizenships since the income from church taxes were not sufficient by far. This civic engagement is primarily explained with the fact that the prosperous municipalities had to some extent recognized a shell for urban self-representation in church. They hunt in contrast and in competition with other cities representative visualization strategies. increasingly expensive – – design language to the structure, but which ultimately led to only very few construction projects were completed – From the 14th century a new developed only the historicist 19th century completed the gothic architecture dreams: Cologne, Ulm, Bern, Regensburg, etc. . But in addition to the economic surge and the abrupt break ethical and aesthetic ideas of the Reformation played a significant role in the use of resources.

however, a second structural phenomenon dominated the architectural development. By the municipal commitment and the acquisition of important bauplanerischer decisions that were previously the clergy, this can prove a legitimizing practice of local politics, you can read it beyond doubt that the citizens recognized the multi-layer potential of a specific urban connotations art policy and knew how to accentuate accordingly. Those sometimes exaggerated church building plans were driven by church councils, which were closely linked with the municipal representatives, usually the Council. The question is therefore whether it can be considered specific “rules of art” that were dictated by the client. Besides the question of a local “art knowledge”, which played an important role in the appearance of prosperity and wealth, is also to question the existing “Financial Education”, which took place the handling of complex construction projects church.

The panel examined from the perspective of social and economic history as well as art history phenomena of interkommunalem and bring inner-city competition and the Municipal Art and management knowledge with the question of the exuberant style developments of the period in connection.



Coordinator of the Swiss History Days 2019
Barbara Holler

History Department
University of Zurich
Office KO2 H361
Karl Schmid-Strasse 4
CH-8006 Zurich

Tel: +41 44 634 38 58

PhD / postdoctoral positions: Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome (deadline 15 July 2018)

Subject: JOB: Doktoranden-/Postdoktorandenstellen, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rom

Rom (Italien)
Application deadline: Jul 15, 2018

An der Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte sind in der Abteilung von Prof. Dr. Tanja Michalsky zum nächstmöglichen Zeitpunkt mehrere

für promovierende und promovierte KunsthistorikerInnen

zu besetzen. Die Nachwuchsstellen sind zunächst auf ein Jahr befristet, können aber im Fall von Promovierenden auf maximal drei und im Fall von Postdocs auf maximal zwei Jahre verlängert werden. Ein Bezug zu den aktuellen Schwerpunkten der Abteilung wird begrüßt: Kunstgeschichte Süditaliens vom Mittelalter bis zur frühen Neuzeit, insbesondere Neapel, Episteme der Kartographie sowie Film. Weitere Informationen über das wissenschaftliche Programm der Abteilungen finden sich auf der Website des Instituts. Ein überdurchschnittlicher Hochschulabschluss in Kunstgeschichte wird vorausgesetzt und eine aktive Teilnahme an den Aktivitäten des Instituts erwartet.

Die Bewerbungsunterlagen sollten folgende Unterlagen enthalten:
– Lebenslauf
– Exposé des Forschungsprojekts mit Bibliographie und Arbeitsplan
– Referenzen, bitte keine Empfehlungsschreiben

Bei Vorliegen der entsprechenden persönlichen Voraussetzungen bieten wir Promovierenden einen Fördervertrag, der die wissenschaftliche Freiheit eines Stipendiums mit der Sicherheit eines Arbeitsvertrags verbindet. Postdocs erhalten einen befristeten Arbeitsvertrag. Beide Vertragsarten lehnen sich hinsichtlich der Entgeltzahlung an den Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes (TVöD Bund) unter Einschluss der üblichen Sozialleistungen an. Die Max-Planck-Gesellschaft will den Anteil von Frauen in den Bereichen erhöhen, in denen sie unterrepräsentiert sind. Frauen werden deshalb ausdrücklich aufgefordert, sich zu bewerben. Ferner hat sich die Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zum Ziel gesetzt, mehr schwerbehinderte Menschen zu beschäftigen. Bewerbungen Schwerbehinderter sind ausdrücklich erwünscht.

Bewerbungen in einem PDF bis zum 15.07.2018 an:, Kennwort Nachwuchsstellen Abteilung III.

Prof. Dr. Tanja Michalsky (Direktorin)
Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Via Gregoriana 28, I–00187 Roma

— English Translation —

Rome (Italy)
Application deadline: 15 July 2018

are the Max Planck Institute of Art History in the Department of Prof. Dr. – at the Bibliotheca Hertziana Tanja Michalsky as soon as possible more

junior positions
for-promoting and doctorate art historians

to occupy. The junior positions are initially limited to one year but can be extended in the case of doctoral students to a maximum of three and in the case of postdocs to a maximum of two years. A reference to the current focus of the department is welcomed: art history of southern Italy from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, especially Naples, Episteme cartography and film. For more information on the scientific program of the departments can be found on the Institute’s website. An above-average degree in art history is required and expected to actively participate in the activities of the Institute.

The application should include the following documents:
– Curriculum vitae
– Expose the research project with bibliography and work plan
References, please no letters of recommendation –

If the relevant personal conditions we offer doctoral students a sponsorship contract linking the scientific freedom of a scholarship with the security of an employment contract. Postdocs receive a fixed-term contract. Both types of contracts lean (TVöD Confederation) including the usual social benefits in terms of remuneration payment to the collective agreement of the civil service. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the proportion of women in the areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore particularly encouraged to apply. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society has set a goal to employing more handicapped individuals. Handicapped will be encouraged.

Applications in a PDF until 15.07.2018 to: , password junior positions Division III.

Prof. Dr. Tanja Michalsky (director)
Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History
Via Gregoriana 28, I-00187 Roma

Job: Digital Humanities Developer, part-time, The Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art (deadline: Jul 30, 2018)

The Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art, September 04, 2018
Application deadline: Jul 30, 2018

The Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art is the recipient of a Kress Digital Resources Grant for 2019-2020. We are therefore seeking a part-time Digital Humanities Developer (beginning fall 2018) to join editors of the JHNA in publishing a scholarly article by Dr. Melanie Gifford, Research Conservator for Painting Technology at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The article, entitled, “The Fall of Phaeton in the Evolution of Peter Paul Rubens,” will be accompanied by high-resolution zoomable images and interactive painting sample analysis to illustrate her discovery of a second campaign of revision by the artist in The Fall of the Phaeton. The Digital Humanities Developer will create the various forms of digital imaging and facilitate accompanying technologies for the article using IIIF (the International Image Interoperability Framework and its associated tools and/or other open source tools and enabling them to be integrated into an article that appears in JHNA. The DHD will be able to work remotely with the scholar if co-location is not possible. The article and accompanying digital technologies will be published in the Winter 2019 issue of JHNA published March 1, 2019.

Hiree can work remotely.

For details, go to (click on HNA News, then Opportunities).