Tag Archives: Sculpture

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/

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

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: New Directions in the Study of Medieval Sculpture, Leeds, 16-17 Mar 2018

Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, March 16 – 17, 2018
Deadline: Sep 30, 2017

New Directions in the Study of Medieval Sculpture

Focusing on the materiality of medieval sculpture has proven crucial to
its study and has expanded our historical understanding of sculpture
itself. Whether monumental relief sculpture in stone, wooden sculptures
in the round, sculpted altarpieces, ivory plaques or enamelled
reliquaries, the possibilities for research on medieval sculpture now
extend far beyond the established canon.

Contemporary medieval sculpture studies have opened the field to
comparative and inclusive research that embraces the social,
performative, gendered and ritual uses of medieval sculpture. These
developments have inspired the organisers of the conference New
Directions in the Study of Medieval Sculpture to reflect on the field
and ask how do we investigate medieval sculpture today and what might
come ‘after’ materiality?

This two-day conference seeks to assess and critique the state of the
field on medieval sculpture and to investigate new directions,
approaches and technologies for research. A consideration of the state
of the field could be approached through, but is not limited to, the
following topics:

    Processes and techniques of medieval sculpture
    The sensory experience of medieval sculpture
    The ephemeral and intangible aspects of medieval sculpture
    Medieval sculpture, photography and digital reproduction
    Archives, casts and reconstructing medieval sculpture
    Sculpture and medievalism
    Historiography of medieval sculpture studies
    Exhibition histories of medieval sculpture

This conference is hosted by the Henry Moore Institute, a centre for
the study of sculpture, and is convened by Dr Elisa Foster, 2016-18
Henry Moore Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow.

Accommodation and reasonable travel expenses within the UK will be
reimbursed.

Paper proposals should be sent via email to Dr Elisa Foster:
elisa.foster@henry-moore.org by 30 September 2017.

Reflections on the Thomas Becket Study Day, 7th June 2017, Canterbury Cathedral

There could scarcely be a more appropriate setting for a study day on the theme of Thomas Becket than Canterbury Cathedral, the location of the archbishop’s martyrdom nearly 850 years ago on the 29th December 1170. In the Cathedral Library and Archives, just metres from the site of Becket’s murder in the North West Transept, experts from universities, museums and Canterbury heritage organisations gathered to discuss the saint’s life and cult.

The day began with a series of ‘quick fire’ presentations, each focusing on one theme or object related to Thomas Becket. The range of material gave an immediate sense of the scale and popularity of Becket’s cult in the Middle Ages and beyond. Some objects discussed have likely existed in the vicinity of Canterbury since they were produced, including a fragmentary sandstone ampulla mould discovered in the garden of 16 Watling Street (Dr Paul Bennett, Canterbury Archaeological Trust), a thirteenth-century cartulary made for Christ Church containing charters for the shrine of Thomas Becket (Professor Louise Wilkinson, Canterbury Christ Church University), the seal of Archbishop Simon Sudbury showing Becket’s martyrdom (Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh, University of Kent), and the spectacular miracle windows in the Trinity Chapel of the Cathedral itself (Professor Michael A. Michael, Christie’s Education).

Thomas Becket ampulla (or vessel), now in the British Museum, similar to the kind that would have been produced by the Watling Street mould discussed by Dr Paul Bennet. See more 3D models of pilgrim souvenirs here

Image 2, Sens Chasuble

Chasuble in Sens Cathedral treasury thought to have been worn by Thomas Becket and venerated as a contact relic

Other delegates discussed geographically dispersed objects which originated or were believed to have originated in Canterbury. For instance, pilgrim souvenirs depicting Becket were bought by visitors to Canterbury and, it would seem, lost on the way home. These badges, with their intricate and compelling imagery, would have been worn on the bags, hats and garments of pilgrims as signs of their visit to Becket’s shrine and are now excavated from sites across Britain and Europe (Amy Jeffs and Dr Gabriel Byng, University of Cambridge and convenors of The Digital Pilgrim Project). Likewise, Dr Emily Guerry (University of Kent) discussed a series of vestments owned by Sens Cathedral that were reputedly worn by Becket and possibly used at Sens as contact relics.

 

A number of  significant objects pertaining to Becket originated from further afield, both geographically and chronologically. Dr Tom Nickson (Courtauld Institute of Art), for example, presented on a c. 1200 altar frontal depicting Becket’s martyrdom found in the church of San Miguel in Almazán, which bears early witness to the popularity of Becket’s cult in Spain.

Image 1, San Miguel altar

Altar frontal from the church of San Miguel in Almazán, showing Becket’s martyrdom

Becket’s later legacy was then examined. Lloyd De Beer (British Museum) assessed the sixteenth-century political and religious connotations of the saint’s martyrdom through the lens of Alberti’s The Martyr’s Picture (1581), displayed in the Venerable English College in Rome, and Naomi Speakman (British Museum) discussed Becket’s memory in post-Reformation England and his representation as an anti-martyr.

These evocative objects and themes provoked a lively concluding discussion that centred on the international nature of Becket’s cult and the extent to which the art associated with it imitated and/or innovated in order promote the saint and potency of his cult as a political tool.

Image 4, Cathedral Archives

Examining the Professions of Obedience in the Canterbury Cathedral Archives

This discussion was followed by an opportunity to see first-hand some of the extraordinary items associated with Becket. Cressida Williams, head of the Cathedral Archives and Library, had organised for an array of Becket-themed documents and objects from the Cathedral collections and various heritage organisations in Canterbury to be displayed together in the reading room of the Cathedral Archives. Among this impressive collection were two fragments of pink Tournai marble, discovered during excavations in the Cathedral grounds, which are thought to have come from the shrine of St Thomas himself. Also on display were a number of medieval seals from the Cathedral’s collections, including those of Archbishops Hubert Walter and Stephen Langton, which both depict Becket’s martyrdom. Dr Helen Gittos from the University of Kent discussed a particular treasure of the Cathedral Archive, the Professions of Obedience, a series of 170 documents now bound into a single volume that record the vows made by bishops during their consecration. These small vellum statements, which would have originally been sewn together in a continuous roll, contain the dates of bishops’ consecrations, and are thus immensely helpful in dating other contemporary documents based on a comparison of their palaeography. Becket’s entry is especially marked in the Professions by a statement in red noting his archiepiscopal status.

 

The later half of the afternoon saw the group move to the Cathedral stained glass studio, where Leonie Seliger, Head of the Stained Glass Conservation Department, led us in a discussion of the representation of Becket in the Cathedral glass. Notably, only three original thirteenth-century panels depicting Becket’s head survive, which Leonie encouraged us to find among her printed reproductions – a task that proved surprisingly difficult. We also had the opportunity to see some of medieval stained glass currently under restoration in the studio, and to hear from Leonie about the techniques that would have gone in to making these panels. A particular highlight was seeing how the colour of nine hundred year old stained glass was still bright and vivid when held up to the light.

Image 7, Sudbury's tomb

Kneeling at the resonant prayer niches in Archbishop Sudbury’s tomb, Canterbury Cathedral

A subsequent tour of the Cathedral offered a chance to see the miracle windows we had discussed in the glass studio in situ, along with the site of Becket’s shrine and several archiepiscopal and royal tombs. The tombs of Archbishops Sudbury and Mepham in the south aisle of the Choir afforded a particularly interactive experience; kneeling down at one of the vaulted prayer niches carved into the tombs’ exterior, penitents (or indeed academics) can experience an amplification not only of the music performed in the nearby Choir, but also their own whispered prayers and thoughts.

 

Professor Paul Binski (University of Cambridge) brought the study day to a close with a public lecture entitled ‘Thomas Becket and the Medieval Cult of Personality’. Drawing on many of the objects seen and discussed throughout the day, Professor Binski reflected on the idea of Becket’s ‘persona’ (as opposed to the modern notion of ‘personality’) and its importance in the formation and development of his cult. Much like a mask that can be put on or taken off, the medieval concept of an individual’s persona was related to their outer countenance, and formed by certain archetypal characteristics – both good and bad – often rooted in character types in biblical stories or saint’s lives. Becket’s persona and outer image, Professor Binski argued, was imitated in the art and architecture produced in response to his martyrdom, an aspect that was vital to the rapid dissemination and spread of the cult. Due in part to the accessibility of this image through objects made both for the elite and for the ordinary person, Becket’s persona transcended social as well as geographical boundaries, transforming his cult into a widespread, international phenomenon. Professor Binski’s concluding remarks on the appeal of the Becket’s cult in the Middle Ages had a particular resonance amidst of the full lecture theatre where the lasting legacy of Thomas Becket’s life and death was still very much felt.

Sophie Kelly

PhD Candidate, University of Kent

 

Gothic Revival, Medieval Art & the Hereford Screen

Issue 5 of British Art Studies features a One Object study of the Gothic Revival Hereford Screen. The 8 tonne metalwork structure was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and manufactured by the firm of Francis Skidmore in 1862. The collection of essays fosters discussion of the screen’s medieval models as well as its Victorian genesis.

2006AR1160_hereford_screen_cathedral_photo_custom_290x332_06200711

The Hereford Screen in Hereford Cathedral, view from North Transept, 19th century. (Image from the V&A website)

As a new and exclusively digital journal, British Art Studies’ virtual platform is celebrated through abundant interplay of text, image and audio-visual material.  It brings together seven scholars who present technical and theoretical perspectives on a single object by means of ‘traditional’ essays and short films.  This brief blog-post aims to draw attention to the medieval content of the study, notwithstanding the overall interest and coherence of all the constituent articles.

The One Object discussion is introduced by Ayla Lepine, in an essay entitled Resurrection, Re-Imagination, Reconstruction:
New Viewpoints on the Hereford Screen.

 

Essays in the discussion that focus on medieval material are:

The Hereford Screen: A Prehistory, by medievalist Matthew Reeve, guides the reader through a history of the medieval predecessors of the Hereford screen and places its production in the context of the Cathedral space and the architect’s work at Lichfield and Salisbury.

Jacqueline Jung’s contribution, a video essay entitled, The Medieval Choir Screen in Sacred Space, considers the sight-lines and sculptural relationships created by the strategically designed perforations and interior figural programmes of medieval screens and their host churches, focusing on two examples from 13th-century Italy and 15th-century Germany.

The oddly fragile, contentious choir screen, in its many historical manifestations, receives a colourful and polyphonic tribute in this One Object study. As a medieval art blog, links to the most relevant essays are given above but are, for best results, to be enjoyed with their Gothic Revival companions.

Books roundup: New Publications in Art

magdeburger-reiter-255x330GABRIELE KOSTER, UTA SIEBRECHT. Der Magdeburger Reiter, Schnell & Steiner, 2017, 368 p.
ISBN: 978-3795432027

Der Band versammelt Beiträge namhafter Experten aus den Bereichen Restaurierung, Kunstgeschichte, Geschichte und Rechtsgeschichte, die den aktuellen Forschungsstand zum Magdeburger Reiter als bedeutende Skulptur der mittelalterlichen Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven präsentieren.

Der Magdeburger Reiter, entstanden um 1240, gilt als das älteste erhaltene freiplastische Reiterstandbild nördlich der Alpen seit dem Ausgang der Antike und ist damit eine der bedeutendsten Skulpturen der mittelalterlichen Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte Europas. Im November 2015 fand aus Anlass der vollendeten Restaurierung des Kunstwerkes im Kulturhistorischen Museum Magdeburg eine interdisziplinäre Tagung zum Magdeburger Reiter statt.
Der dritte Band der Schriftenreihe des Zentrums für Mittelalterausstellungen widmet sich dem Reiterstandbild als mittelalterliches Kunstwerk, städtisches Wahrzeichen und europäisches Erbe. Erstmals liegt damit eine umfassende Publikation zum Magdeburger Reiter vor. Sie präsentiert fächerübergreifend die wissenschaftlichen Beiträge der Tagung, den Untersuchungs- und Restaurierungsbericht sowie eine umfangreiche Fotodokumentation der bedeutenden Skulpturengruppe.

 

JOSÉ ORFILA. Regards panoramiques sur le monde médiéval et Notre Dame de Reims, Godefroy de Bouillon, 2016, 520 p.JOSÉ ORFILA. Regards panoramiques sur le monde médiéval et Notre Dame de Reims, Godefroy de Bouillon, 2016, 520 p.
ISBN: 978-2841913282

24 figures (en couleurs) et 229 photos (dont14 en couleurs) illustrent ce livre à la gloire de l’architecture du monde médiéval. Depuis plus d’un demi-siècle, la pression toujours renouvelée des esthétiques avant-gardistes a modifié notre vision des choses. Nous avons découvert les mérites des arts les plus lointains et les plus anciens que l’on appelait jadis primitifs et qu’il faut honorer désormais du nom de “premiers”, ce qui les pare d’emblée des plus rares vertus. On est même allé jusqu’à les estimer “plus essentiels”. Rien d’étonnant donc que le gothique, celui des 12eme et 13eme siècles trop élaboré, trop conscient de soi et trop éloigné des pulsions basiques ne soit plus en faveur. De nos jours on se doit d’accorder plus de valeur aux masques africains, aux totems amérindiens et aux statues de l’Ile de Pâques qu’à la Ste Chapelle. Et l’évolution politico-culturelle réactivant les voluptueux mirages de l’Orient qui émoustillaient les mâles romantiques, le Français moyen commence à se sentir plus en phase avec le Tajmahal qu’avec la cathédrale de Reims. Car notre époque est avide de “retours aux sources” à condition que ce soient celles des autres et vénère toutes les traditions sous réserve que ce ne soient pas les nôtres. Ce livre rappelle la richesse de notre civilisation mise à l’écart par les bien-pensants.

 

art-nature-237x330NICOLE R. MYERS (ed.). Art and Nature in the Middle Ages, Yale University Press, 2017, 136 p.
ISBN: 978-0300227055

This splendidly illustrated book explores the universal and multifaceted theme of nature as manifested in Western European art of the Middle Ages. Fascinating essays consider the concept in the context of medieval philosophy, theology, and poetry. The masterpieces highlighted here,  from the distinguished collection of the Musée de Cluny, span the 12th through the 16th centuries and include an impressive array of objects destined for both religious and secular purposes—from exquisite stained glass and carved capitals to spectacular enameled jewelry, illuminated manuscripts, and woven tapestries. Art and Nature in the Middle Ages provides an essential understanding of the symbolism and significance of motifs taken from the natural world, as well as the technical mastery of the medieval artisans who produced these remarkable objects.
Nicole R. Myers is the Lillian and James H. Clark Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Dallas Museum of Art.