Tag Archives: Sedilia

Conference: Choir stalls and their workshops (Greifswald, 23-26 June 2016)

IMG_2250 (1)Choir stalls were not only simple seating for the priests and monks. With their highly complex imaging systems they were also one of the most important and complex artistic tasks in medieval cathedrals, monastic churches, and even parishes.

In recent years, research has focused primarily on iconographic research and formal and stylistic analysis, as has the research of Misericordia International. There are very few studies dedicated to the workshops and their working conditions. Therefore this year the Misericordia International conference in Greifswald will deal with the workshop context of the choir stalls for the first time. In addition to questions about substantive and economic mechanisms of art production the conference will deal with basic knowledge craftsmanship such as the structure studies. It also examines the use of drawings and models in the production of choir stalls.

The venue Greifswald is chosen wisely. North Germany has a rich “choir landscape” whose research is a rewarding task. Nevertheless, despite work by relevant scientists that wealth is not well known, let alone scientifically. The colloquium will thus stimulate a reinterpretation of the liturgical furniture and provide new impulses.

REGISTER HERE

Programm

23. Juni 2016

12.45 Registration

13.00 Frédéric Billet, President of Misericordia International (Sorbonne Paris IV): Welcome

13.10 Gerhard Weilandt (Universität Greifswald): Introduction

Section I
Workshop practices

13.20 Thomas Eißing (University Bamberg): Science of Joining structures as knowledge reservoir for workshop practices? A methodological introduction

14.00 Anja Seliger (Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung Berlin): To get an idea -Visualization as a starting point in the manufacturing process

14.40 Pause

14.50 Angela Glover (University of Toronto): Module as Model for Early Modern Choir Stalls

15.30 Kristiane Lemé-Hébuterne (Amiens): Big seats for fat Benedictines, small ones for slender Cistercians? – Some statistics on the size

16.10 Pause

Section II
16th- and early 17th-century choir stalls – Tradition or restart?

16.25 Volker Dietzel (Dresden): Berufsbezeichnungen und Werkzeugnamen der Tischler, Schreiner und Kistler

17. 05 Ulrich Knapp (Leonberg): The Choir stalls of Salem Cistercian Monastery Church as testimony of liturgical and economical reforms (1588 till 1593)

17.45 Jörg Lampe (Academy of Science Göttingen): The choir stalls of the monasteries of Pöhlde and St. Alexandri in Einbeck – Observations on their time of origin from an epigraphical and historical point of
View

18.25 Pause

19.00 Abendvortrag
Dorothee Heim (Berlin): The woodcarver Rodrigo Alemán. An international acting choir stalls maker and businessman in Spain about 1500.

20.15 Get-together

24. Juni 2016

09.30 Begrüßung

Sektion III
Choir stalls made of stone – A forgotten furniture

10.00 Jörg Widmaier (University Tübingen): The stone bench of Burs – Gotland’s masonry in context and their connections to the main land

10.40 Erika Loic (University Harvard): Liturgical Activation of Master
Mateo’s Stone Choir in Santiago de Compostela

11.20 Pause

11.40 James Alexander Cameron (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London): Microarchitectural reflexivity in the design of sedilia and choir stalls

Section IV
Authorshift and groups of work – Case studies

12.20 Willy Piron (Radboud University, Nijmegen): The bilobate misericords of the Lower-Rhine area: a local phenomenon?

13.00 Mittagspause

14.20 Christel Theunissen (Radboud University Nijmegen): Jan Borchman and his fellow craftsmen. The creation of choir stalls in the Low Countries

15.00 Barbara Spanjol-Pandelo (University of Rijeka): Matteo Moronzon – an artist or a project manager of a woodcarving workshop?

15.40 Pause

16.00 Detlef Witt (Greifswald): Die Wangen der Anklamer Chorgestühle

16.40 Kaja von Cossart (Drechow): The choir and other 13th century furniture in the Cistercian Monastery Doberan

17.20 Final Discussion

18.30 General Meeting of Misericordia International

20.00 Get-together

Samstag, 25. Juni 2016

Ganztagesexkursion (Bus)
35 Euro Fahr- und Eintrittskosten
Treffpunkt: 8.00 Uhr Bahnhofsvorplatz

Bad Doberan, Münster
Retschow, Dorfkirche
Rostock, Kulturhistorisches Museum Heiligkreuz und Universitätskirche
Ribnitz-Damgarten, St. Klarenkloster

Sonntag, 26. Juni 2016

Halbtagsexkursion nach Stralsund (Bahn)
12 Euro Fahr- und Eintrittskosten
Treffpunkt: 9.00 Uhr Bahnhof Greifswald

Wir werden die Stadt Stralsund zu Fuß erkunden. Bitte berücksichtigen Sie dies bei der Wahl ihres Schuhwerkes und der Kleidung.

St. Nikolaikirche
St. Jakobikirche (Depot)
Kulturhistorisches Museum Stralsund (ehemals St. Katharinenkloster)

Ende der Tagung gegen 15 Uhr.

Official page:

http://www.chorgestuehle-und-ihre-werkstaetten.bwg.hu-berlin.de/en.html

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Conference review: Microarchitecture and Miniaturized Representation of Buildings (INHA, Paris 8-10 Dec 2014)

Search for “microarchitecture conference” on Google, and you will mostly be returned results concerning gatherings of computer programmers. This would doubtless make the concept of a conference on medieval microarchitecture entertaining to many. Even ignoring this parallel nomenclature, the sort of microarchitecture art historians are interested in is not an easy concept to explain, and perhaps one of the primary goals of the conference held at the Institut Nationale d’Historie d’Art in Paris was to actually work out what we had all come together for. I doubt wasn’t the only one who wondered whether my own material actually qualified.

Professor Timmermann with his pocket cathedral

Professor Timmermann with his pocket cathedral

Achim Timmermann (University of Michigan), a man who could indeed be dubbed “Mr. Microarchitecture”, gave an exciting overview of the concept in Early, High and Late Middle Ages, so epic in its scope of fantastic structures that the screen ought to have expanded into Imax proportions. His account demonstrated how microarchitecture transformed from the idea of a “pocket cathedral” into such an isolated ontological sphere that it crossed into convolute monstrosity with its self-mimesis by the late fifteenth century. An alternative and quite staggeringly rich oration, based on his new book Gothic Wonder, was given by Paul Binski among the medieval statuary in the ancient Roman baths of the Museé de Cluny. For Paul, the medieval intellectual aesthetic condensed great and small, magnificent and minificent, into an idea characterised by a single playfulness of embellishing surface with ornament. A more formal account, jointly delivered by Javier ibàñez Fernandez (Universidad de Zaragozza) and Arturo Zaragozá Catalán (Universidad de Valencia), introduced a 7-part taxonomy of microarchitecture in Spain: from functional maquettes to decorative miniaturisation of large-scale forms.

Sebastian Fitzner and some extraordinary medieval tile ovens

Sebastian Fitzner and some extraordinary medieval tile ovens

In this framework of ideas of categorisation, many new genres of object were introduced to the conference room. The present writer, of course, had packed a selection of sedilia, which by now I am certain always prove novel to continental audiences. But we also had stone tile ovens like traceried office blocks from Sebastian Fitzner (LudwigMaximilians-Universität München), Orthodox chivots for Eucharist reservation that mimic the forms of their parent building from Anita Paolicchi (Università di Pisa) and Renaissance elevation drawings that were originally intended to be folded and constructed into paper models from Giovanni Santucci (Università di Pisa).
These models are sort of things we would love to have more evidence for in the Middle Ages to explain the transmission of ideas, but alas, even presentation drawings and plans are difficult to come by. The miniaturisation of large forms into the decorative or representational was covered in papers by Sabine Berger (Sorbonne) on votive churches in the hands of donor statues and Peter Kurmann (ETH, Zurich) on relationship of tabernacle canopies to the geometry and form of great chevets.

Matthew Sillence with cardinals' seals

Matthew Sillence with cardinals’ seals

P1940231

Final panel with Alexander Collins, Julian Gardner (chair), Sophie Cloart-Pawlak and Sarah Guérin

There was also consideration of the desirability of microarchitecture and its meaning beyond the artists’ play with novel forms. Matt Ethan Kalaver’s (University of Toronto) account of the earliest transmission of classical forms into the Netherlands by the high nobility on their tombs was reflected in the earlier centuries considered by Julian Gardner (University of Warwick) and Matthew Sillence (University of East Anglia). Their papers both focused on how influential medieval prelates and cardinals were for spreading new forms on their seals, which, quite thankfully, was a big part of my paper where also bishops seem the first to stick pointy gables over sedilia in chantry chapels they have endowed.
Perhaps one drawback about the novelty of much of the material is that it is only in retrospect to draw many of these parallels across sessions. One panel however that held together very well that at the end of the final day, between Sophie Cloart-Pawlak (IRHiS, Lille), Alexander Collins (University of Edinburgh) and Sarah Guérin (University of Montréal) who all explored the function and symbolism of microarchitecture on the spectator.
This was my first international conference, and it was a highly convivial experience with high-quality papers throughout. There was a healthy mix of postgraduates, early career researchers, established scholars and some legendary old hands. It is planned that the proceedings will be published, and therefore it should provide a much-needed general framework for the minificent microcosm of the fiddliest bits of the decorative arts.

The international conference Micro-architecture et figures du bâti au Moyen-Âge: l’échelle à l’épreuve de la matière was at the Institut Nationale d’Historie d’Art from the 8-10 Dec 2015. Here is our original post of the call for papers, the full programme and the INHA’s official page.

We also had a bit of fun tweeting the conference because we’re so Web 3.0.