Tag Archives: Middle Ages

Deadline 15 November: The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium: Collecting (in) the Middle Ages (6th-16th century), 16 February 2018

HolyofHoliesReliquaryCall for papers: The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium: Collecting (in) the Middle Ages, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 16 February 2017
Deadline: 15 November 2017

The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium invites speakers to consider the nature of medieval collections, the context of their creation and fruition, and their legacy — or disappearance — in the present.

Inspired by objects such as a cedar box chest once kept in the Holy of Holies of the Lateran, this colloquium seeks to explore a diverse set of topics surrounding medieval practices of collecting. This wooden box may seem simple, but once opened it reveals a priceless collection: fragments of rock and wood from the Holy Land, each labelled with its precise place of origin by a sixth-century hand. Here and there, stones have fallen out, leaving imprints in the soil. The wooden relic chest is an object of small size and almost no material value, but has nevertheless been treasured for centuries by one of the largest and most powerful institutions of the medieval world.

The study of medieval collecting raises a variety of questions. How and why were objects collected, practically and conceptually? What was their expected time-span and what enabled their survival? How have medieval collections impacted modern scholarship, and how do modern collecting and display practices influence our interpretation of the past?

Applicants to the colloquium are encouraged to explore these issues from a diverse range of methodologies, analysing objects from the 6th to the 16th century and from a wide-ranging geographical span. Possible areas of discussion might include:

  • Collecting through time: How do we define the medieval collection/collector? How did medieval objects take on new meanings in medieval collections, ie. in the case of spolia? How has scholarship on medieval art been influenced by varying collecting practices and curatorial strategies across time?
  • Collecting in space: can the idea of the ‘collection’ be expanded to include objects, places and spaces spread across different geographical locales? Could objects or spaces communicate their commonality across a distance? How did pilgrimage routes, travel narratives and travel guides conceptualize their surroundings and weave a thread through geographical and historical difference?
  • Collectors, intermediaries, and craftsmen: how did institutions and single collectors acquire and expand their collections? For example, did they rely on a merchant network to acquire foreign objects or new relics? Did they collect newly commissioned objects, and display them in purpose-built spaces?
  • Collections and Legacies: how did inheritance impact the notion of collecting, looking forwards as well backwards? How did the meaning of objects change as they were passed down through families and dynasties? What happened to collections when familial lines ended? How did individuals link themselves to courts or dynasties through collections?
  • Accessibility: When, how and why were collections visible? Were there different levels of accessibility and interaction and who was allowed to ‘access all areas’? How were restricted collections advertised and open collections protected? And did objects themselves interact with each other, for example in specific displays or assemblages?
  • Organising Collections: What were the systems for assembling a collection, and for how they were curated? How did purpose-built spaces impact the growth of collections, and vice-versa? What were the roles of documents in collections, and how have medieval recording practices influenced modern views of the medieval collection?

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 costanza.beltrami@courtauld.ac.uk and maggie.crosland@courtauld.ac.uk no later than 15 November 2017.

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ARTES Coll y Cortés 2017 post-doctoral scholarship report: Dr Francisco de Asís García García, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

 

Fig. 2. Woven silk fragments. Victoria and Albert Museum, 275 and 275A-1894

Woven silk fragments. Victoria and Albert Museum inv. 275 and 275A-1894

I have carried out a three-month fellowship in London from March 1st to May 31st, 2017, conducting research in several museums, libraries and academic institutions of the city. My main goal was to study a selection of textiles from the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion (FTF) Department of the Victoria & Albert Museum. I have undertaken this work as an Erasmus + Visiting Fellow at the V&A’s Research Department in collaboration with the Marie S.-Curie project Interwoven (no. 703711) led by Dr Ana Cabrera Lafuente. Dr Cabrera acted as my fellowship’s supervisor and this granted me the opportunity of working closely to a specialist. Thanks to this, I have acquired new knowledge and methodological skills in the field of textiles.

Fig. 1. Working session at V&A Clothworkers' Centre

Working session at the V&A’s Clothworker’s Centre

I based my study on the examination of raw materials, weaving techniques, decorative patterns and iconography of textile fragments and ecclesiastical vestments related to Medieval and Early-modern Iberia. These pieces were selected in accordance with the interests of the Interwoven project and my own. The research also paid attention to the dispersion of connected fragments and pieces among different institutions and collections, identifying them through a comparison of their catalogues and online databases. The reading of records and files held at the V&A’s Archive related to acquisitions from Spain in the early decades of the Museum helped me to complete the biographical information of certain pieces. The physical examination of the textiles was carried out with Dr Cabrera at the Clothworkers’ Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion, while the bibliographical and writing work took place at the V&A’s FTF Department. This research will allow the Museum to update their textile collections’ data and widen the scope of information accessible on the Museum’s own database and its online version ‘Search the Collections’.

Fig. 3. The Warburg Institute Library. 1st floor

The Warburg Library, first floor

Beyond my work at V&A, I was able to devote a few daily hours to library research at the Warburg Institute, SOAS, and the British Library. During these sessions, I dedicated my time to the gathering of bibliographical material for an ongoing study on the role of textiles in the fashioning of clerical dignity and the valuation of the ecclesiastical space during the central Middle Ages in Iberia. I presented the preliminary results of this research during the ‘Work in Progress Seminars’ held in the V&A’s Research Department with a talk entitled ‘Ecclesiastical textiles and vestments from Medieval Iberia: promoting the clergy and shaping sacred space in a reforming church’ (May 2nd, 2017). Moreover, the access to the bibliographical resources held at these institutions enabled me to update and enrich the contents and critical apparatus of the forthcoming publication of my PhD dissertation, focused on the Romanesque sculpture of the Cathedral of Jaca.

During my stay in London I was pleased to attend conferences on Medieval Iberian art and Islamic studies, particularly the symposium ‘Gothic Architecture in Spain: Invention and Imitation’ (The Courtauld Institute of Art, March 16th, 2017) and the workshop ‘Researching the Islamic State: New Challenges and Opportunities’ (UCL, March 28-29th, 2017), as well as lectures and seminars on Medieval sculpture, Late Gothic fashion and Arabic palaeography –among other topics– at The Courtauld and SOAS. I was also able to exchange ideas with scholars specialising in textiles and in Spanish Medieval Art as Drs Lesley Miller, Tom Nickson, Rose Walker, Kirstin Kennedy and Nicola Jennings, and benefit from their advice and research experience.

By Dr Francisco de Asís García García, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Conference, Index of Christian Art (Princeton)

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The Medieval Iberian Treasury in the Context of Muslim-Christian Interchange

Index of Christian Art
Princeton, NJ,
19-20 May 2017

In collaboration with the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Madrid and Princeton University’s departments of Art & Archaeology and History, the Index of Christian Art will sponsor a two-day interdisciplinary conference,

The medieval treasury offers an extraordinary material witness to the desires, aspirations, and self-conception of its creators. Treasuries could function as sources of gifts (and obligations) for their allies, as prestigious private storehouses for ostentation before an elite audience, or as financial reserves that could be made use of in times of need. Luxury items from non-Christian cultures, such as the many Islamic objects that found their way into church treasuries, or those made from materials of great intrinsic value, such as ivory, gold, silver, or silk, became even more valuable if the piece were turned to a sacred use. We will examine these dimensions of the treasury by giving special emphasis to the rich holdings of the royal-sponsored monastery of San Isidoro de León in northern Spain. Taken as a whole, both texts and objects offer a rich body of evidence for interdisciplinary investigation and serve as a springing point for larger questions about sumptuary collections and their patrons across Europe and the Mediterranean during the central Middle Ages.

Hosted at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the conference brings together international and US scholars from multiple disciplines and professions, with specializations including Islamic law and sumptuary production, Christian chronicles, patronage and royal studies, identity and gender studies, and political history across the cultures of medieval Spain. The diversity of questions and perspectives addressed by these scholars will shed light on the nature of treasury collections, as well as on the broad efficacy of multidisciplinary study for the Middle Ages.

For further information, contact Pamela Patton: ppatton@princeton.edu

SPEAKERS

THOMAS BURMAN, ROBERT M. CONWAY DIRECTOR OF THE MEDIEVAL INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME:         Title TBA

ANA CABRERA, VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM, AND MARÍA JUDITH FELICIANO, INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR AND DIRECTOR, “MEDIEVAL TEXTILES IN IBERIA AND THE MEDITERRANEAN”:       “Medieval Textiles in León in the Iberian and Mediterranean Context”

JERRILYNN DODDS, SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE: “The Treasury, Beyond Interaction”

AMANDA DOTSETH, MEADOWS MUSEUM, SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY AND PRADO MUSEUM, MADRID: “Medieval Treasure and the Modern Museum: Christian and Islamic Objects from San Isidoro de León”

MARIBEL FIERRO, INSTITUTO DE LENGUAS Y CULTURAS DEL MEDITERRÁNEO Y ORIENTE PRÓXIMO, CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTÍFICAS: “Christian Relics in al-Andalus”

JULIE HARRIS, SPERTUS INSTITUTE FOR JEWISH LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP: “Jews, Real and Imagined, at San Isidoro and Beyond”

EVA HOFFMAN, DEPARTMENT OF ART AND ART HISTORY, TUFTS UNIVERSITY: “Arabic Script as Text and Image on Treasury Objects across the Medieval Mediterranean”

JITSKE JASPERSE, INSTITUTO DE HISTORIA, CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTÍFICAS: “Set in Stone: Questioning the Portable Altar of the Infanta Sancha (d. 1159)”

BEATRICE KITZINGER, DEPARTMENT OF ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY:       “The Treasury, a Material Witness to Long-Distance Contact and Pivot Point for Interdisciplinary Exchange”

EDUARDO MANZANO, INSTITUTO DE HISTORIA, CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTÍFICAS: “Beyond the Year 900: The ‘Iron Century’ or an Era of Silk?”

THERESE MARTIN, INSTITUTO DE HISTORIA, CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTÍFICAS: “Ivory Assemblage as Visual Metaphor: The Beatitudes Casket in Context”

PAMELA A. PATTON, INDEX OF CHRISTIAN ART, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: “Demons and Diversity in León”

ANA RODRÍGUEZ, INSTITUTO DE HISTORIA, CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTÍFICAS: “Narrating the Treasury: What Medieval Iberian Chronicles Choose to Tell Us about Luxury Objects”

ITTAI WEINRYB, BARD GRADUATE CENTER: “The Idea of North”

Study Day: Global Middle Ages: Hibridación artística e intercambio en el Mediterráneo medieval

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Global Middle Ages
Hibridación artística e intercambio en el Mediterráneo medieval

I JORNADA INTERNACIONAL MAGISTRI MEDITERRANEI

La caiguda de Jerusalem en 1187 i la pèrdua d’Atenes pels catalans en 1388 marquen dos segles convulsos de moviment i expansió dels diferents estats llatins del Mediterrani que propiciaren com mai la mobilitat i transferència artística entre llatins, grecs, musulmans i cristians orientals. Tant la “protecció” i la peregrinació als Llocs Sants com la creació de noves rutes d’expansió militar i comercial portaren la Corona Catalano-Aragonesa a ciutats com Venècia, Pisa o Gènova, a afavorir diferents processos d’apropiació del sagrat, a l’adquisició de botins de guerra, o a l’intercanvi de regals de significació político-dinàstica o diplomàtica.

Es tracta d’un intercanvi que va en dues direccions, i que propicià interesants processos d’aculturació i introjecció artística fins ara no suficientment explorats per la historiografia i que han de ser entesos dins del paradigma d’una Global Middle Ages.

DIRECCIÓ CIENTÍFICA
Manuel Castiñeiras
COORDINACIÓ
Carles Sánchez

Organitza:
Projecte de recerca Movilidad y transferencia artística en el Mediterráneo medieval (1187-1388): artistas, objetos y modelos. MAGISTRI MEDITERRANEI (MICINN HAR2015-63883-P) de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

 28 d’abril 2017  
Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Sala de Graus
Més informació Programa de la Jornada Internacional

Book Launch – Art in Spain & Portugal from the Romans to the Early Middle Ages by Rose Walker

ARTES member Dr Rose Walker of the Courtauld Institute of Art has recently launched her latest book on early art in the Iberian Peninsula. A discount is available to those ARTES members who would like to buy a copy. Please contact artesiberia@gmail.com for details.

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