Tag Archives: meaning

CFP: ‘Scaling the Middle Ages: Size and Scale in Medieval Art’, Courtauld Institute of Art’s 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, London, Friday 8 February 2019

image-1024x745The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium invites speakers to consider issues and opportunities encountered by medieval artists and viewers in relation to size and scale.

Deadline: 16 November 2018

From micro-architectural reliquaries and minute boxwood prayer beads to colossal sculpture and the built spaces of grand cathedrals and civic structures, size mattered in medieval art. Examples of simple one-upmanship between the castles and palaces of lords and kings and the churches and cathedrals of abbots and bishops are numerous. How big to make it was a principal concern for both patrons and makers of medieval art. Scale could be manipulated to dramatic effect in the manufacture of manuscripts and the relative disposition of elements within their decorative programmes. Divine proportions – of the Temple of Solomon or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – were evoked in the specific measurements and configuration of contemporary buildings and decisions were made based on concern with numbers and number sequences.

Inspired by the ‘Russian doll’ relationship between the Sainte Chapelle in Paris and its micro-architectural miniature in the form of a gilded reliquary in the Musée de Cluny, Scaling the Middle Ages seeks to explore a range of questions surrounding proportion, scale, size, and measurement in relation to medieval art and architecture. The Sainte Chapelle, built by the saint-king of France Louis IX to house the relics of Christ’s Passion, is itself often described as an over-sized reliquary turned inside-out. The Cluny reliquary – made to house relics of Saints Maxien, Lucien, and Julien held within the chapel – both complicates and compliments that comparison, at once shrinking the chapel back down to size through close architectural quotation of its form in miniature and pointing the viewer’s attention back to that same, larger space. The relationship between these two artefacts raises a host of questions, including:

Scale and making

How were ideas about size and scale communicated between patrons, architects, craftspeople, and artists? In an age without universal standardised units of measurement, how did craftsmen negotiate problems of scale and proportion?

How were the measurements of a medieval building determined? What techniques did architects, masons, and artists use to determine the scale of their work?

Scale and meaning

What effects were achieved and what responses evoked by the manipulation of scale, from the minute to the massive, in medieval art?

What was the role of proportion and scale in architectural ‘copies’ or quotations?

What representational problems were encountered by artists approaching out-sized subjects, such as giants?

How was scale manipulated in order to communicate hierarchy or relative importance in medieval art?

How did size and scale function in competition between patrons or communities in their artistic commissions and built environments?

Problems of scale

What, if anything, happened when something was the wrong size? When was something too big, or too small? And how were such problems solved by patrons and makers?

How does the disembodied viewing of medieval art through digital surrogates distort or assist in our perception of scale?

How can modern measuring techniques and digital technology enhance our understanding of medieval objects and buildings?

Applicants to the colloquium are encouraged to explore these and related issues from a diverse range of methodologies, analysing buildings and objects from across the Middle Ages (broadly understood in geographical and chronological terms). The Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium offers an opportunity for research students at all levels from universities across the UK and abroad to present, discuss and promote their research.

To apply, please send a proposal of up to 250 words for a 20-minute paper, together with a CV, to teresa.lane@courtauld.ac.uk and oliver.mitchell@courtauld.ac.uk no later than 16 November 2018.

Organised by Oliver Mitchell and Teresa Lane (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

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CFP: Scaling the Middle Ages: Size and Scale in Medieval Art, 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, February 8, 2019

The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium invites speakers to consider issues and opportunities encountered by medieval artists and viewers in relation to size and scale.

Deadline: 16 November 2018

From micro-architectural reliquaries and minute boxwood prayer beads to colossal sculpture and the built spaces of grand cathedrals and civic structures, size mattered in medieval art. Examples of simple one-upmanship between the castles and palaces of lords and kings and the churches and cathedrals of abbots and bishops are numerous. How big to make it was a principal concern for both patrons and makers of medieval art. Scale could be manipulated to dramatic effect in the manufacture of manuscripts and the relative disposition of elements within their decorative programmes. Divine proportions – of the Temple of Solomon or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – were evoked in the specific measurements and configuration of contemporary buildings and decisions were made based on concern with numbers and number sequences.

Inspired by the ‘Russian doll’ relationship between the Sainte Chapelle in Paris and its micro-architectural miniature in the form of a gilded reliquary in the Musée de Cluny, Scaling the Middle Ages seeks to explore a range of questions surrounding proportion, scale, size, and measurement in relation to medieval art and architecture. The Sainte Chapelle, built by the saint-king of France Louis IX to house the relics of Christ’s Passion, is itself often described as an over-sized reliquary turned inside-out. The Cluny reliquary – made to house relics of Saints Maxien, Lucien, and Julien held within the chapel – both complicates and compliments that comparison, at once shrinking the chapel back down to size through close architectural quotation of its form in miniature and pointing the viewer’s attention back to that same, larger space. The relationship between these two artefacts raises a host of questions, including:

Scale and making

  • How were ideas about size and scale communicated between patrons, architects, craftspeople, and artists? In an age without universal standardised units of measurement, how did craftsmen negotiate problems of scale and proportion?
  • How were the measurements of a medieval building determined? What techniques did architects, masons, and artists use to determine the scale of their work?

Scale and meaning

  • What effects were achieved and what responses evoked by the manipulation of scale, from the minute to the massive, in medieval art?
  • What was the role of proportion and scale in architectural ‘copies’ or quotations?
  • What representational problems were encountered by artists approaching out-sized subjects, such as giants?
  • How was scale manipulated in order to communicate hierarchy or relative importance in medieval art?
  • How did size and scale function in competition between patrons or communities in their artistic commissions and built environments?

Problems of scale

  • What, if anything, happened when something was the wrong size? When was something too big, or too small? And how were such problems solved by patrons and makers?
  • How does the disembodied viewing of medieval art through digital surrogates distort or assist in our perception of scale?
  • How can modern measuring techniques and digital technology enhance our understanding of medieval objects and buildings?

Applicants to the colloquium are encouraged to explore these and related issues from a diverse range of methodologies, analysing buildings and objects from across the Middle Ages (broadly understood in geographical and chronological terms). The Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium offers an opportunity for research students at all levels from universities across the UK and abroad to present, discuss and promote their research.

To apply, please send a proposal of up to 250 words for a 20-minute paper, together with a CV, to teresa.lane@courtauld.ac.uk and oliver.mitchell@courtauld.ac.uk no later than 16 November 2018.

Organised by Oliver Mitchell and Teresa Lane (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

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CFP: ICMA sponsored session: ‘MOVING MATERIALS: Medium, Meanings, and Technique in Transit,’ Leeds International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom, 1–4 July 2019

1024px-vase_de_cristal_d27alic3a9norDeadline: 21 September 2018

MOVING MATERIALS: Medium, Meanings, and Technique in Transit, Leeds International Medieval Congress (thematic strand: Materialities), University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom, 1-4 July 2019

Sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) Student Committee
Organized by D. Esther Kim (Toronto),  Maggie Crosland (Courtauld), and Xin Yue (Sylvia) Wang (Toronto)

The materials of the medieval artist, artisan, and architect were constantly on the move, travelling from one part of the globe to another through trade, gifting, looting, or theft. Likewise, the localized techniques of working with materials and media could travel near and far, through the movement of artists and objects, as well as written and visual descriptions such as artist manuals and travel guides.

While on the move, travelling materials such as stone and marble, metals, fur, textiles, coral, ivory, and pigment—and techniques of working with these materials—might retain their original meanings and function; or they could be integrated with local media, refined, or even significantly transformed to something drastically different, to suit the ideologies and ambitions of their destination.

This panel aims to engage with materials and techniques in transit, as well as the (trans)regionality of their meanings and significations, by asking: are we still able to trace the ‘origin’ and ‘originality’ of certain materials, techniques, and their meanings? How then would the fluidity and transformation of techniques affect our understanding when we are trying to ascribe a certain technique to a particular culture or region? How are old, new, and combined meanings assessed and understood in the Middle Ages and in scholarship today?

Possible topics of discussion include, but are not limited to: global movements and dissemination of artists and/or their materials and techniques; modes of transmission; regional/transregional meaning and significance of materials and techniques; reuse and repurposing of existing materials and/or artworks; reasons for shifts in meaning and function of materials within and outside particular regions; the integration of materials and medium, and intermediality; trans-temporal/ trans-regional use of spolia, among others.

How to apply: We welcome submissions for 20-minute papers from graduate student ICMA members, and encourage interdisciplinary submissions from students researching all parts of the globe from c.400-c.1500. To propose a paper, please send a title, abstract of up to 250 words, and CV to the organizers (de.kim@mail.utoronto.ca, margaret.crosland@courtauld.ac.uk, xw388@nyu.edu) by 21 September, 2018.

The International Center for Medieval Art Student Committee involves and advocates for all members of the ICMA with student status and facilitates communication and mentorship between student and non-student members.

Call for Papers: ‘Rethinking the Carpet Page: Meaning, Materiality, and Historiography’, IMC 2019 (Deadline: 10 September 2018)

440px-meister_des_book_of_lindisfarne_002CFP for International Medieval Congress 2019 at the University of Leeds, July 1-4 2019

The session proposes a fresh look at carpet pages in manuscript books across the medieval world including examples from Jewish, Muslim, and Christian contexts. We seek papers examining the sources for and functions of particular carpet pages as well as papers questioning the paradigm of the “carpet page” as it developed in the scholarly literature.

Please submit a working title and a 250-word proposal for a 20 minute paper by September 10.

Julie Harris
marfiles@comcast.net