HISTART 393-001

Undergraduate Seminar:
Spatial Encounters - Medieval Images In Between

Tappan 210
M W 10:00am - 11:30am
3 Credit Seminar

The way in which we view and engage with objects and images is determined in part by the spaces they occupy. Medieval visual culture had a particular concern with thresholds, staggered spaces and delayed or mediated sensory experiences. This is evident in the architecture and furnishings of churches, where openings and spaces of transition seem to have been particularly prized as sites for images. With a focus on typically medieval art forms such as the stone relief tympanum, the figure portal, and historiated doors made of bronze or wood, our course examines how we might study images in these multifunctional spaces, sites of both inclusion and exclusion. Here, images become part of or reflect rituals performed, they signify in the context of pilgrimage, serve as a backdrop for normative acts of judgment or sanctuary, even of everyday practices such as trade and travel. Studying thresholds therefore enables exploring different approaches to medieval art, its intent and plurivalence, as well as its reception and sensory experience. The course looks at both famous (Conques, Paris Notre-Dame, Hildesheim, Verona), and less well-known examples (Gniezno, Swedish ironwork doors) to explore themes such as liminality, the medieval city, materiality and the senses.

HISTART Concentration Distributions: Medieval, Europe and the U.S.