Scott B. Montgomery, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Denver, will present the Annual Kohler Lecture on Art History. His talk is titled: “The Mute Bones Speak: Relics and the Performance of Sanctity in the Cult of the Eleven Thousand Virgins of Cologne” and will be presented on Wednesday, October 21, 7 pm, in Lebus Court 113.
The cult of St. Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins of Cologne was one of the most widespread manifestations of collective sanctity in the Middle Ages, largely due to the immense quantity of holy relics that were venerated throughout Europe. While these sacred bones provided the focus of their veneration, textual and visual forms fleshed out the dynamic role of this vast mass of bones in the construction of notions of communal identity and sanctity. From the earliest document of a cult of unnamed and unnumbered holy virgins in early medieval Cologne to the expanded late medieval narrative of the pilgrimage and martyrdom of eleven thousand maidens, the story of the development of the legend of St. Ursula and her companions is itself an epic tale, one that reveals much about the process of hagiographic construction. The legend was increasingly embroidered in response to the discovery of a vast cache of relics of the Holy Virgins of Cologne in the twelfth century. While the textual sources served to verify the power of the relics, images produced in the service of this relic cult made their presence most palpable in a variety of contexts, engendering both personal and communal veneration of the Eleven Thousand Virgins. Profoundly asserted via myriad reliquaries and narrative pictorial cycles, the visual culture of St. Ursula and her companions influenced the perception of their role within their urban cult center and beyond. Coupled with miracle accounts and imagery, the corporate nature of displays of relics of the Holy Virgins helped fashion an understanding of these holy women as both potent civic protectors and ideal role models. Images, particularly reliquary figures, facilitated the performance of collective sanctity asserted by the group identity of these holy virgins and extending to their devotees who were frequently encouraged by such imagery to model their own pious behavior after that of the Eleven Thousand Virgins of Cologne. Texts, images, and relic displays worked in concert to allow the mute bones to speak, dynamically performing their role as holy protectors and models of virtue within medieval Cologne.
September 30, 2009, 7pm, Lebus 113
Stephanie Porras (CMC 2003), Leibniz-Gemeinschaft Postdoctoral Fellow, Courtauld Institute of Art will present a talk entitled “History Embodied: The Peasants of Pieter Bruegel” on Wednesday, September 30, 7 pm, in Lebus Court 113. Sixteenth-century Antwerp was one of Renaissance Europe’s premier mercantile, publishing and artistic centers. Yet, with few physical monuments and textual accounts to rival those of Rome, early Dutch historians had to find alternative foundations upon which to build their descriptions of the ancient Netherlandish people, in etymological research and the reconstruction of vernacular cultural traditions. While Bruegel’s images of peasant life have been mined for allegorical, moralising and comedic readings, little consideration has been given to the links between Bruegel’s pictorial representation of peasants and the representation of peasant custom in the contemporary historical imagination. In this paper, I will argue that the peasant, in both Bruegel’s images and in sixteenth-century histories and ethnographies, was represented as an embodiment of local history, a kind of living archaeological record, as well as a metaphoric vehicle for the transmission of a distinctly local culture, at a time when many within the Spanish-occupied Low Countries began to articulate a distinctly “Netherlandish” character.
Marie Shurkus, the department’s current Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in art criticism and theory, will be presenting a lecture entitled “Relational Aesthetics, Re-enactment, and the Post-Medium Condition.”
This talk represents her most recent research into the area of re-enactments in contemporary art. Using Rosalind Krauss’s notion of the post-medium condition, Professor Shurkus will explore how re-enactment and relational aesthetics hold the potential to enhance our awareness of how images address viewers in terms of affect and reconstruct the body as a vehicle for commercial interests. The lecture will be held in Lebus Court 113 at 4:15 pm.‚ For further information please contact Frances Pohl at 909-607-2253.
Peter Arnade, Professor of History at California State University, San Marcos, will be presenting a lecture‚ titled “The Reign of Images and the Politics of Iconoclasm in the Dutch Revolt, 1566-1585,” which draws on his new book Beggars, Iconoclasts and Civic Patriots. The lecture takes place on Tuesday, April 21, at 4:15 pm in Lebus Court 113.
For more information contact George Gorse at 909-607-73914.
Julie Nicoletta (’87), Professor of the History of Art and Architecture and Public History, University of Washington, Tacoma, will be presenting the Annual Kohler Lecture in the History of Art on April 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm in Lebus Court 113. The title of the lecture is “Art Out of Place: International Art Exhibitions at the New York World’s Fair, 1964-65.”
For further information contact Bev Lopez at (909) 607-2221.
Julie Nicoletta (’87), Professor of the History of Art and Architecture and Public History, University of Washington, Tacoma, will be presenting the Annual Kohler Lecture in the History of Art on April 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm in Lebus Court 113. The title is “Art Out of Place: International Art Exhibitions at the New York World’s Fair, 1964-65.”