Tag Archives: material culture

6 CfP for ICMS Kalamazoo 2018

[1] Venice, Materiality, and the Byzantine World

[2] De-Centering the Romanesque

[3] Creative Modes of Activating the Early Medieval Manuscript

[4] Creative Strategies of Intellectual Engagement with Tradition and the Auctores

[5] “Manuscripts in the Curriculum”: New Perspectives on Using Medieval Manuscripts in the Undergraduate Classroom from Special Collection Librarians, Faculty, and Booksellers (A Roundtable)

[6] Moving People, Shifting Frontiers: Re-contextualising the Thirteenth Century in the Wider Mediterranean

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[1]

Venice, Materiality, and the Byzantine World

Sponsored by the Italian Art Society, 

Deadline: Sep 15, 2017

The Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Symposium leading to the 2010 publication of San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice introduced new perspectives on Byzantine and Venetian visual and material culture that extended Otto Demus’s survey of Saint Mark’s basilica. The authors’ application of more recent approaches—such as the social function of spolia, the act of display, the construction of identity, and cultural hybridity—brought fresh analyses to a complex and richly decorated monument. This panel seeks to expand this methodological discourse by taking into account questions related to materials, materiality, and intermediality between Venice and Byzantium. The arrival of material culture from the Byzantine world to Venice as gifts, spoils, or ephemera during the centuries surrounding the Fourth Crusade allowed for both appropriation and conceptual transformation of material culture. In light of the renewal in interest of Venice’s Byzantine heritage, this panel seeks to reflect on the interaction of material culture between la Serenissima and the Byzantine world, especially during the eleventh through fifteenth centuries. Topics may be wide-ranging, including, but not limited to: issues of reception and cultural translation; changing concepts of preciousness; different valuation of materials between Venice and Byzantium; the fluctuating simulation of material visual effects; the transformation of Byzantine objects incorporated into Venetian frames; intermedial dialogue between Byzantine and Venetian art; and the process and technique of manufacture of works between Byzantium and Venice. Some points of departure may include: the building of San Marco itself; Byzantine objects in the Treasury; Byzantine manuscripts included as part of the Cardinal Bessarion gift to the Republic; the monuments on Torcello; or issues raised as a result of recent conservation projects. New cross-cultural methodologies from art historical, anthropological, or sociological fields are welcome.
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a completed Participant 
Information Form (http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) by 

September 15 to the session organizers:

Brad Hostetler, Kenyon College, hostetler1@kenyon.edu, Joseph Kopta, Pratt Institute, jkopta@pratt.edu
In addition to the travel awards available to all Congress participants (http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/awards), the Italian Art Society offers competitive travel grants: http://italianartsociety.org/grants-opportunities/travel-grant-information/

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[2]

De-Centering the Romanesque

Dommuseum Hildesheim & The J. Paul Getty Museum

The canonical emphasis of Romanesque studies on regional centers and monuments has overshadowed aspects of transregional exchange that defined the art and culture of medieval western Europe circa 1000-1250. One of the key characteristics of this period is movement — of peoples, ideas, and materials. This session will explore the themes of portability and exchange, with possible topics addressing Mediterranean and Baltic trade networks, transcultural objects in the western treasuries, pseudo-scripts and their varied meanings, and hoards versus monuments. Participants are encouraged to address the concept of nexus versus center and the pedagogical implications for presenting a de-centered and global Romanesque, with papers that either challenge or affirm the Romanesque frame for teaching medieval art, both in the classroom and in the museum.

Please send your proposal of up to one page with your Participant Information Form (PIF) http://wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF to the organizers: Kristen Collins, J. Paul Getty Museum, KCollins@getty.edu or Gerhard Lutz, Dommuseum Hildesheim, gerhard.lutz@dommuseum-hildesheim.de

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[3] and [4]

Deadline: Sep 1, 2017

Two sessions for, “Identifying Creative Impulses in Early Medieval Art and Culture,” will convene at the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2018) in Kalamazoo, MI.

Papers are solicited that encourage novel—even experimental—approaches, to the exploration and identification of various conceptions of early medieval, creative cultural activity. 

The first panel seeks to engage with the actual haptic and experiential practice of manufacturing, reading and studying the early medieval book.

The second panel focuses upon culturally apposite forms of interpretative and compositional fashioning that can be discerned in manuscripts belonging to the liberal arts traditions of the Early Middle Ages.

Abstracts and paper proposals of not more than 250 words can be submitted via email on or before September 1, 2017 to the session organizers: Eric Ramírez-Weaver (emr6m@virginia.edu) and Lynley Anne Herbert (lherbert@thewalters.org). Please copy both co-organizers when submitting a proposal, posing a question, or requesting additional information via email.

Complete panel descriptions follow. We particularly encourage inventive strategies promising new approaches to the investigation of early medieval creativity.

Identifying Creative Impulses in Early Medieval Art and Culture
Special Sessions organized by Eric Ramírez-Weaver (emr6m@virginia.edu) and Lynley Anne Herbert (lherbert@thewalters.org)

I. Creative Modes of Activating the Early Medieval Manuscript

The way a manuscript behaves when used “in the flesh,” so to speak, can at times reveal layers of creativity built into them, which must be actively experienced rather than passively seen. Often as modern scholars we work from digitized images of individual folios, or at best openings, and “page flipping” technologies (such as the Walters’s “Ex Libris” platform or the British Library’s “Turning the Pages” program) provide a false sense that we are experiencing the physical book. Evidence of the performative qualities of a manuscript can at times be rediscovered, not just in the sense of how a reader might perform the text written in the book, but how the user activated the book as an object during use. Does an image show through a page and become part of the visual experience on the other side, and was there intentionality there? Do images interact across an opening? Does imagery function together from recto to verso? How is the artist creating an experience for the user, or conversely, how did the user alter the book to create a personal experience? This session seeks papers that explore creative approaches that open up new possibilities regarding how early medieval manuscripts functioned as objects.
II. Creative Strategies of Intellectual Engagement with Tradition and the Auctores

Recent scholarship (consider Benjamin Anderson, Lynda Coon, Paul Edward Dutton, Rosamond McKitterick, Lawrence Nees, Eric Ramírez-Weaver, and Immo Warntjes), has increasingly emphasized the creative strategies for intervention and manufacture of meaning that were acutely linked to early medieval eastern and western engagements with various aspects of the liberal art traditions. From star pictures to poetic acrostics, devotion to erudition and pious personal reform transformed the possibilities for innovation that proliferated during the Carolingian period. Interlocking networks of artists, chroniclers, historians, and poets communicated their translations, textual redactions, and visual records of classical tradition and contemporary study with one another, engaged in debate or collaboration, but advancing science. This session seeks papers willing to reconsider methodologically apposite ways to reinterpret the various brands of early medieval creativity manifest in texts pertaining (as broadly as possible) to the seven liberal arts, including texts of astronomical, computistical, rhetorical, geometric, arithmetic, musical, lyrical, philosophical, diagrammatic, or historical significance.

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[5]

“Manuscripts in the Curriculum”: New Perspectives on Using Medieval Manuscripts in the Undergraduate Classroom from Special Collection Librarians, Faculty, and Booksellers (A Roundtable)

Deadline: Sep 10, 2017

Integrating medieval manuscripts into an undergraduate curriculum changes the game. Students are transformed from passive learners to active scholars; observing objects and seeking to understand and interpret their context teaches critical thinking. Implementing programs to give students this opportunity requires the cooperation of special collection librarians and faculty, two disciplines that speak slightly different languages. Inspired by Les Enluminures’s new program Manuscripts in the Curriculum<http://www.textmanuscripts.com/curatorial-services/manuscripts&gt;, this session will also introduce a third perspective and explore the practical issues of how to build collections for teaching.

The session organizers wish to bring people together from these communities to share their experiences, to discuss successful results, to analyze problems, and to envision future directions. We invite papers that explore efforts to bring manuscripts into the classroom, and the challenges of implementing these programs at specific institutions from the perspectives of librarians, faculty, and booksellers. The session will be structured as a roundtable with a series of short ten- and fifteen-minute papers (the number and duration to be determined depending on response), with ample time for discussion.

Please send abstracts of no more than a page, along with a current CV and the Participation Information Form (available on the Medieval Congress Submissions page: http://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to lauralight@lesenluminures.com<mailto:lauralight@lesenluminures.com> by September 10, and sooner if possible.
Emily Runde, Text Manuscripts Specialist

Les Enluminures

http://www.lesenluminures.com&lt;http://www.lesenluminures.com&gt;

http://www.textmanuscripts.com&lt;http://www.textmanuscripts.com&gt;
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[6]

Moving People, Shifting Frontiers: Re-contextualising the Thirteenth Century in the Wider Mediterranean

Deadline: Sep 10, 2017

(Courtauld Institute of Art) and Katerina Ragkou (University of Cologne). Deadline: 10 September 2017

Every day we witness people moving, with them objects and skills, knowledge and experience; either forcibly or willingly; for work or for pleasure. The communities living along the shores of the Mediterranean and the hinterlands of the Balkans during the thirteenth century share many of the characteristics of our contemporary world: military campaigns and religious wars; the intensification of pilgrimage and the relocation of refugees; the shifting of frontiers and the transformation of socio-political orders.

The transformations of the thirteenth century span from east to west, from northern Europe to the Byzantine Empire and from the Balkans to the Levant. The geographic breadth is paralleled by crucial events including the fourth crusade, the fall of Acre, the empowerment of the Serbian Kingdom and the Republic of Venice, the loss and following restoration of the Byzantine Empire, and the creation of new political entities, such as the Kingdom of Naples and that of Cyprus, the Empire of Trebizond, and the Principality of Achaia. Eclectic scholarly tradition has either focused geographically or thematically, losing sight of the pan-Mediterranean perspective. These societies had multifaceted interactions, and comprised a variety of scales, from the small world of regional and inter-regional communities to the broader Mediterranean dynamics.

This session aims to address questions such as which are the various processes through which military campaigns and religious wars affected the urban landscape of these regions and their material production? Is there a difference in economic and artistic trends between “town” and “countryside” in the thirteenth-century wider Mediterranean? What observations can we make in regards to trade, diplomatic missions, artistic interaction and exchange of the regional, interregional and international contacts? How did these shape and transform cultural identities? How did different social, political and religious groups interact with each other?

This session welcomes papers focused on, but not limited to: the role played by economic activity and political power in thirteenth-century artistic production and the shaping of local and interregional identities; the production and consumption of artefacts and their meaning; the transformation of urban and rural landscapes; religious and domestic architecture and the relationship between the private and public use of space.

Proposals for 20 min papers should include an abstract (max.250 words) and brief CV. Proposals should be submitted by 10 September 2017 to the session organizers: Katerina Ragkou (katerina.ragkou@gmail.com) and Maria Alessia Rossi (m.alessiarossi@icloud.com).

Thanks to a generous grant from the Kress Foundation, funds may be available to defray travel costs of speakers in ICMA-sponsored sessions up to a maximum of $600 ($1200 for transatlantic travel). If available, the Kress funds are allocated for travel and hotel only. Speakers in ICMA sponsored sessions will be refunded only after the conference, against travel receipts. For more information visit: http://www.medievalart.org/kress-travel-grant/

Conference: Mendicant Orders in the Eastern Mediterranean: Art, Architecture and Material Culture (13th-16th c.), Nafplion, Wednesday 19th-Sunday 23rd April 2017

751308413_origConference: Mendicant Orders in the Eastern Mediterranean: Art, Architecture and Material Culture (13th-16th c.), Nafplion, Wednesday 19th-Sunday 23rd April 2017
Free, booking required: http://mendicants.weebly.com/registration.html
Conference website: http://mendicants.weebly.com/

Programme:
Wednesday, 19 April 2017

9:30 – 10:00      Registration

10:00 – 10:30    Welcoming Addresses

10:30 – 11:00    Ioanna Christoforaki (Academy of Athens)
Mendicant Orders in the Eastern Mediterranean: Reviewing the Evidence

11:00 – 11:30     Coffee Break

One Step Beyond: The Mendicants in Constantinople and Dalmatia

11:30 – 11:50     Şebnem Dönbekci (Koç University)
Revisiting the Vita Cycle of Saint Francis in Constantinople: Power and Ideology in the Medieval Mediterranean

11:50 – 12:10      Silvia Pedone (Sapienza Università di Roma) and Nicholas Melvani (Koç University)
Constantinople and the Dominicans: History, Topography, and Monuments on Both Shores of the Golden Horn

12:10 – 12:30     Rafał Quirini-Popławski (Jagiellonian University of Kraków)
Mendicant Art and Architecture in the Black Sea: Pera and Caffa

12:30 – 12:50    Discussion

12:50 – 15:00    Lunch

15:00 – 15:20     Josip Belamarić (Cvito Fisković Centre and University of Split)
Franciscans and Art on the Croatian Coast in the Thirteenth Century

15:20 – 15:40    Zoraida Demori Staničić (Croatian Conservation Institute)
Franciscan Convents in Hvar: Between Cult and Politics

15:40 – 16:00    Nina Kudiš (University of Rijeka)
Venetian Seicento Painters in Franciscan and Dominican Churches of Dalmatia: Some Important Examples

16:00 – 16:20    Ivana Prijatelj Pavičić (University of Split),
Anti-Ottoman Narratives on the Altarpieces of Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Carmel in the Dominican and Franciscan Churches of Dalmatia

16:20 – 16:40    Discussion

16:40 – 17:00    Coffee Break

17:00 – 17:45     Keynote Lecture
Sophia Kalopissi-Verti (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
Byzantium ‘Challenged’  after 1204:  Reactions, Responses and their Reflections in Iconography

17:45 – 18:00    Discussion

19:30 – 21:30    Cocktail reception at Nafplia Palace Hotel (speakers only)

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Franciscans and Dominicans in Latin Romania

9:00 – 9:20      Michalis Olympios (University of Cyprus)
Eloquent Marginalia: Figural Sculpture at the Dominican Church in Negroponte (Chalkis, Euboea)

9:20 – 9:40       Demetris Athanasoulis (Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades)
The Church of Saint Francis in Glarentza (Clarence)

9:40 – 10:00    Eleni Barmparitsa (Ephorate of Antiquities of Messenia)
Settlement and Activities of the Mendicant Orders in the Peloponnese during the Late Middle Ages

10:00 – 10:20   Discussion

10:20 – 10:50   Coffee Break

10:50 – 11:10      Panayota Volti (Université Paris-Nanterre)
Some Decorative Elements of the Church of the Virgin in Merbaka, Argolis: A Visual Exegesis of  Dominican History and Spirituality?

11:10 – 11:30       Guy D. R. Sanders (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Corinth Excavations)
The Archaeology of the Poor at Corinth in the Time of William of Moerbeke OP, Translator of Aristotle, Archimedes, Hero and Galen and Dominican Bishop of Corinth (1278-85)

11:30 – 11:50      Vicky Foskolou (University of Crete)
Reflections of Mendicant Religiosity in the Monumental Painting of the Latin Southern Greek Mainland and the Islands (13th-15th c.)

11:50 – 12:10     Discussion

12:10 – 12:30     Daphne Chronaki (Ephorate of Antiquities of Lassithi)
Παρατηρήσεις στη χωροθέτηση και στις χαράξεις ναών των επαιτικών ταγμάτων στην Κρήτη
[Observations on the planning and proportions of mendicant churches on Crete]

12:30 – 12:50    Eleni Kanaki, Daphne Chronaki and Chara Bilmezi (Ephorates of Antiquities of Herakleion and Lassithi)
Ο ναός του Αγίου Πέτρου των Δομηνικανών στο Ηράκλειο
[The church of Saint Peter of the Dominicans in Herakleion]

12:50 – 13:10     Periandros Epitropakis (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)
Το χρονικό της ανασκαφής της μονής του Αγίου Φραγκίσκου Ηρακλείου μέσα από τον τύπο της εποχής
[The chronicle of the excavation of Saint Francis monastery in Heraklion through contemporary press]

13:10 – 13:30     Discussion

13:30 – 15:00   Lunch break

15:00 – 15:20   Olga Gratziou (University of Crete)
The Friars and their Impact on Crete: Material and Visual Evidence

15:20 – 15:40    Kostas Giapitsoglou (Ephorate of Antiquities of Rethymnon)
Tο καθολικό της μονής της Αγίας Μαρίας Μαγδαληνής των Δομηνικανών στο Ρέθυμνο
[The katholikon of the monastery of Saint Mary Madgalene of the Dominicans in Rehtymnon]

15:40 – 16:00   Maria Borboudaki (Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens)
Evidence of Dominican Presence in the Cretan Countryside: A Fresco of Saint Peter of Verona in the Church of Saint George in the Village of Apostoloi Pediados (Herakleion)

16:00 – 16:20   Discussion

16:20 – 16:40    Coffee Break

16:40 – 17:00   Maria Constantoudaki-Kitromilides (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
Saint Francis and Private Devotion in Venetian Crete: Visual and Archival Evidence

17:10 – 17:30      Chryssa Ranoutsaki (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Saint Francis and Saint Catherine: Two Eminent Model Saints of the Mendicant Orders in Medieval Crete

17:30 – 17:50    Nickiphoros Tsougarakis (Edge Hill University)
Re-examining the Franciscan Library of Candia

18:10 – 18:30     Discussion

18:30 – 19:15    Keynote Lecture
Donal Cooper (University of Cambridge)
The Mendicant Orders as Patrons of Art and Architecture in Venetian Herakleion

19:15 – 19:30   Discussion

20:00 – 22:00   Conference Dinner (speakers only)

Friday, 21 April 2017

Mendicant Presence in the Crusader Levant

9:30 – 9:50     Margit Mersch (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
The Development of Local and Trans-Regional Mendicant Architecture: A Comparative Glance on Franciscan Churches on Cyprus and Crete (13th-14th c.)

9:50 – 10:10     Thomas Kaffenberger (Université de Fribourg)
Saint Clare or Saint Dominic? New Observations on the ‘Hagia Fotou’ Ruins in Famagusta

10:10 – 10:30   Maria Paschali (Independent Scholar)
An Image with Our Lady of Carmel in Famagusta and the Interplay of Sanctity, Piety and Power

10:30 – 10:50  Discussion

10:50 – 11:10    Coffee break

11:10 – 11:30      Rehav Rubin and Milka Levy-Rubin (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
How did the Franciscans Choose to Portray Jerusalem?

11:30 – 11:50     Fanny Vitto (Israel Antiquities Authority)
The Cradle of the Carmelites in the Holy Land before Becoming a Mendicant Order

11:50 – 12:10     Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Facing the Forbidden:  Felix Fabri in Medieval Jerusalem

12:10 – 12:30    Discussion

12:30 – 14:30   Lunch break

14:30 – 14:50   Jaroslav Folda (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Artistic Commissions related to the Mendicant Orders in the Thirteenth Century Crusader Levant

14:50 – 15:10     Lucy-Anne Hunt (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Centres and Peripheries: A Perspective on Mendicants and Christian Art in the Crusader States and Muslim Egypt

15:10 – 15:30     Prodromos Papanikolaou (King’s College London)
Artistic Traces of  Franciscan Piety in Hospitaller Rhodes: The Marble Icons of the Virgin and St. John the Evangelist

15:30 – 15:50   Discussion

15:50 – 16:10    Coffee Break

16:10 – 16:30    Amy Neff (University of Tennessee)
Sinai in the Franciscan Visual Imagination

16:30 – 16:50   Manuel Castiñeiras (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
From Catalonia to Sinai: A Two-Way Journey. Revisiting the Legend of King Abgar in the Saint Francis Altarpiece of Santa Clara in Vic (1414-1415)

16:50 – 17:10    Discussion

17:10 – 17:30    Coffee break

17:30 – 18:15    Keynote Lecture
Michele Bacci (Université de Fribourg)
The Franciscans as Promoters of New Holy Sites

18:15 – 18:30    Discussion

19:30 – 21:30   Conference Dinner (speakers only)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Mendicant Art between East and West
9:30 – 9:50      Jean-Pierre Caillet (Université Paris-Nanterre) and Fabienne Joubert (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
Byzantine Sources of the Crucifixion in Italy: Revisiting the Role of the Mendicants

9:50 – 10:10    Emily Guerry (University of Kent)
A Path Prepared for Them by the Lord: Saint Louis, Dominican Diplomacy, and the Odyssey of Jacques and André of Longjumeau

10:10 – 10:30   Krisztina Ilko (University of Cambridge)
Augustinian Friars in the East

10:30 – 10:50  Discussion

10:50 – 11:10    Coffee Break

11:10 – 11:30      Helen Evans (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
The Franciscans among the Armenians

11:30 – 11:50     Ioanna Rapti (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Armenian Αrt and the Μendicant Οrders in the East: Εncounters and Ιnteractions

11:50 – 12:10     Lauren Arnold (University of San Francisco)
Armenian Carpets in Early Renaissance Paintings: The Mendicant Orders and their Role in Facilitating a Migration of Eastern Christians to Italy (1250-1500)

12:10 – 12:30    Discussion

12:30 – 14:30   Lunch break

Round Table Discussion
14:30 – 17:00
Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies
(conference speakers only)

Welcoming Address: Dr Christos Giannopoulos (Center for Hellenic Studies)

Coordinator:  Ioanna Christoforaki (Academy of Athens)

Louise Bourdua (University of Warwick)
Anne Derbes (Hood College)
Julian Gardner (University of Warwick)
Maria Georgopoulou (The Gennadeios Library, ASCSA)
Maria Vassilaki (University of Thessaly)
Gerhard Wolf (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institut)

17:00 – 17:30   Afternoon Coffee

19:30 – 21:30   Conference Dinner (speakers only)

Sunday, 23 April 2017
(conference speakers only)

Excursion to medieval monuments in the Argolis (Agia Moni in Nafplion and Church of the Virgin in Merbaka) in the morning. Visit to the new Byzantine Museum in Argos, followed by a guided tour of the Corinth excavations by Guy Sanders in the afternoon.

Jobs

medieval-argumentation
Lebanese American University – Visiting faculty, Islamic Art &
Architecture
Occidental College – ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN THE HISTORY OF ART OF ASIA
University of California – Riverside – Assistant Professor in Art and
Material Culture of the Islamic World
Swarthmore College – Assistant Professor of Architectural History

Seminar: Medieval Textiles: Meaning and Materiality, 25th November 2016

jacobusBirkbeck Medieval Seminar: Medieval Textiles: Meaning and Materiality

On the occasion of the V&A Museum’s unprecedented exhibition of opus anglicanum, this one-day interdisciplinary conference brings together leading and emerging scholars working on questions of meaning and materiality in medieval textiles, both real and imaginary.

 

The conference is organised by Birkbeck Medieval Seminar and the History of Art Department with support of the Murray Bequest. The programme, and details of how to book can be found at: https://medtex.eventbrite.co.uk

Friday 25th November, 2016, 10.00am -5.00pm.

Birkbeck, University of London, Room 101, 30 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DT

New Publications: Body-Worlds: Opicinus de Canistris and the Medieval Cartographic Imagination

st_186Body-WorldsOpicinus de Canistris and the Medieval Cartographic Imagination 

Author: K. Whittington

Brepols Publishers

In 1334, an Italian priest named Opicinus de Canistris fell ill and experienced a divine vision of continents and oceans transformed into human figures, a vision which inspired numerous drawings. While they relate closely to contemporary maps and seacharts, religious iconography, medical illustration, and cosmological diagrams, Opicinus’s drawings cannot be assimilated to any of these categories. In their beautiful strangeness they complicate many of our assumptions about medieval visual culture, and spark lines of inquiry into the interplay of religion and science, the practice of experimentation, the operations of allegory in the fourteenth century, and ultimately into the status of representation itself.

Reviews

“Karl Whittington’s Body-Worlds brings Opicinus de Canistris’ idiosyncratic drawings out of the purely personal, mentally disturbed world to which they have generally been consigned into a more normative and accessible realm. To unlock their forms and meanings, Whittington persuasively compares the odd renderings to portolan charts used in marine navigation, which he sees as foundational to Opicinus’s project. And, building on the work of Michael Camille and Victoria Morse, he subjects the drawings to a sensitive analysis that never flattens these indisputably eccentric works but, in the end, enhances their innovative nature even while rendering it understandable.”

– Herbert L. Kessler, Johns Hopkins University

“Opicinus’s drawings contribute in new and unexpected ways to our understanding of the late medieval church, the history of vision and sensibilities, the body, the history of cartography, and Mediterranean studies. Karl Whittington is an intelligent reader of these very difficult works and a wonderful guide for readers encountering this material for the first time. His book will open up an important and under-utilized corpus for further study and should spark an on-going conversation about these intriguing manuscripts.”

– Victoria Morse, Carleton College

“In Body-Worlds, Karl Whittington has produced a magisterial study of the enigmatic drawings of Opicinus de Canistris. Focusing on a key grouping within the larger corpus of images, he examines some two dozen illustrations that superimpose human bodies on the form of the earth, its seas, and its continents. Two questions guide his task: why would this late medieval thinker adapt a diagrammatic form based on current understanding of cartography; and why turn this image into a system for analyzing broad theological and philosophical questions of the day? Although some scholars believe that Opicinus suffered from a form of physical and mental disorder, and that the drawings reflect a disturbed state of mind, Whittington’s complex study indicates otherwise. Whittington does justice to the rich multivalent nature of these drawings, showing us how Opicinus understood the relationship between the body and cosmos, as well as how sexuality and gender worked as important conceptual tools in his visionary system.”

– Catherine Harding, University of Victoria

Cambridge Medieval Art Seminar Series: Craft, Process, Techne

medieval-seminars-2016The University of Cambridge Senior Seminar in Medieval Art meets every other week during full term, attracting an impressive range of speakers from home and abroad.

The Department of the History of Art is pleased to announce the programme for the annual Medieval Art Seminar Series 2016-17. The seminars will explore ideas of craft and process in medieval art at practical and theoretical levels.

Papers (and in one case, a trip to the V&A) will be held on alternating Mondays during Michaelmas and Lent terms and the final two papers of our series will be held in Easter term. The venue for the seminars is Lecture Room 2 of the History of Art Department (1-5 Scroope Terrace, Cambridge CB2 1PX), beginning promptly at 5.30pm. Following questions, attendees are invited to stay and speak more informally with speakers over wine and light nibbles. Lectures are free and open to the public.

Organisers: Robert Hawkins, Amy Jeffs

Please email Robert Hawkins at rh540@cam.ac.uk with any queries.

Programme:

Monday 10th October

Zoe Boden (Victoria and Albert Museum & University of Glasgow)

Opus Anglicanum and the Steeple Aston Cope

Monday 24th October

Group visit to the Opus Anglicanum Exhibition, meet 1.45pm at the V&A

Monday 7th November

Dr George Younge (University of York)

Anglo-Saxon sources of the Theological Windows at Canterbury Cathedral

Monday 21st November

Prof Richard Sennett (LSE and NYU)

The Craftsman: a Discussion

Monday 23rd January

Dr Lucy Wrapson (University of Cambridge, HKI)

Thomas Gooch and Thomas Loveday, two Suffolk Carpenters and their Rood Screens

Monday 6th February

Anya Burgon (University of Cambridge)

The Mechanical Arts in Twelfth-Century School Poetry

Monday 20th February

Dr Peter Dent (University of Bristol)

‘Domine dio fece scolpire questa croce’: Carving the Crucifix in Late Medieval Italy

Monday 27th February

Prof Tim Ingold (University of Aberdeen)

The Craft of Spinning

Monday 6th March

Dr Tom Nickson (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Gothic Encounters? Architectural History, Phenomenology and the Gothic Church

Monday 1st May

Prof Susan Rankin (University of Cambridge)

Writing sound : Designing Notation : Carolingian Musical Techne

Monday 15th May

Agata Gomolka (University of East Anglia)

Carving Romanesque Chiaroscuro

 

Exhibition: A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe

October 16, 2016 through January 8, 2017

Walters Presents A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe

Features more than 100 objects from world-renowned collections

Baltimore, MD – The Walters Art Museum presents A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe, a major international loan exhibition that brings together more than 100 works including stained glass, precious metals, ivories, tapestries, paintings, prints, and illuminated manuscripts from 25 public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad, including the Walters’ extraordinary medieval collection. On view from October 16, 2016 through January 8, 2017A Feast for the Senses explores how medieval works of art spoke to all the senses. Luminous stained glass windows, tapestries depicting fragrant gardens, chalices used in the Eucharist—these objects were not only seen, but were also, and at the same time, touched, smelled, tasted, and heard. The Walters is first of only two venues to host this extraordinary exhibition. Admission is free.

During the late medieval period—roughly the 12th to 15th centuries—religious and secular life mingled to the point that the boundaries between them become hard to distinguish: the delights of life and anticipation of heavenly reward were closely intertwined. The arts of the time reflect a new interest in human experience, the enjoyment of nature, and the pursuit of pleasure by evoking and celebrating beauty through all of the senses. While such pleasures were not directed exclusively toward spiritual enlightenment, religious practices were also defined by rich sensory experiences.

The exhibition evokes these not only through the works of art on view but also through specially designed sensory experiences, ranging from smells of roses and incense to the sounds of church bells and gardens, and the tactility of rosary beads.

“In many museums today, visitors experience the artworks by viewing them from afar in silent galleries. A Feast for the Senses will push the boundaries of the art museum by inviting visitors to encounter art with more than just their eyes,” says exhibition curator Martina Bagnoli (former Walters’ curator of medieval art, who is now executive director of the Gallerie Estensi in Modena, Italy).

Loans and Support 

More than 25 museums and collections in the United States and abroad are lending works to the exhibition, including the British Museum, London; the Musée du Louvre, Paris; the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. The exhibition also includes masterpieces from the Walters’ renowned collection of medieval art, one of the most important in the United States

A Feast for the Senses has been organized by the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, in partnership with the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, and will be on view at the Ringling February 4 through April 20, 2017.

The exhibition received major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the National Endowment for the Arts; and anonymous donors, with additional support from the Gary Vikan Exhibition Fund, Nanci and Ned Feltham, and the Helen Hughes Trust. The accompanying catalogue was made possible by an anonymous donor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, or the National Endowment for the Arts.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Accompanying Publication

A generously illustrated catalogue presents new research in the developing field of sensory perception within art history. It includes essays by leading scholars exploring the themes of the exhibition through representations of religious practices, royal rituals, feasts and celebrations, and music and literature. Edited by exhibition curator Martina Bagnoli, the catalogue is published by the Walters Art Museum and distributed by Yale University Press. It is available for sale in the Walters Art Museum Store and online ($65, hardcover) beginning in mid-October.

Opening Day Event

A public opening day talk Symposium on the Senses in Medieval Culture will be held Sunday, October 16 at 1:30 p.m. Exhibition curator Martina Bagnoli, Walters’ in-house curator Joaneath Spicer, and other scholars will explore aspects of the role played by sensory perception in medieval culture that are both surprising and completely familiar to us today. A reception and book signing follow. Tickets are $10, and free for Walters members.