Online seminar: 13 Nov 2023 [video available on request to members]
Prof. ELAINE TRAHERNE (Stanford University), on Old Wives Tales: Six Queens and Henry VIII
This talk brought to life the three Catherines, two Annes, and one Jane who, from 1509 to 1547 kept Henry VIII on his toes. “Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived,” as the rhyme goes, tritely labels the outcome of each wife’s respective marriage. But the six women made their mark—not only on the king and the culture of the court, but also on national and international affairs. In this discussion, Elaine considered the queens’ achievements, by paying particular attention to their books and the traces they left behind.
Online seminar: 23 Oct 2023 [video]
Prof. Bob Scott on The plan of St Gall
Bob discussed the 9th century plan for the Benedictine monastery in the Swiss village of Gallen, which was intended to serve as a model for Benedictine monasteries everywhere, and as such provides us with a unique window into the world of monasticism of the period.
Online seminar: 11 Jul 2023 [video available on request to members]
Prof CHRISTY JUNKERMAN (recently retired from Department of Art and Design, at San Jose State University,) on Splendor as an Instrument of Power and Influence in Tudor England.
The upper classes knew very well how to use the impressive appeal of splendid objects and textiles to display their status and promote their political, social and personal aims. Visual images, especially portraits, but also a whole range of precious and skillfully crafted objects including the tapestries, medals, armor, precious tableware and liturgical garments on display in the exhibit at the Legion of Honor this summer, created a splendid atmosphere that dazzled spectators and both argued for, and supported, the legitimacy and power of the English monarchy and aristocracy. Elizabeth’s portraits, in particular, were carefully calculated to support the themes of her reign.
Medieval Matters seminar: 8 June 2023 (Pigott Hall (Building 260), Lecture Theatre 113, Stanford).
Professor Dorin talked about “Mass Expulsion in Medieval Europe”, a topic that builds upon his wonderful recent Princeton University Press Book, No Return: Jews, Christians, Usurers, and the Spread of Mass Expulsion in Medieval Europe.
Online seminar: 10 Apr 2023 [video]
Dr PATRICK HUNT on Marvels of the Alhambra
The Alhambra in Granada is considered the pinnacle of Moorish Art and Architecture in Spain's Andalusia. The Nasrid Dynasty (1320-1492) who built and resided in the Alhambra was the last Moorish holdout of al-Andalus against the Spanish Reconquista. The exquisite details of the Nasrid palaces and courtyards of the Alhambra with gardens and fountains are marvelous reminders of Islamic geometric splendor that the fading epoch of al-Andalus gave to Europe, so unlike normal Christian medieval iconography and architecture. This lecture highlights the Alhambra's treasures.
Evelyn adds: "And to get you ready to be in Spain, I highly recommend this recording of classical guitarist, John Williams, performing Joaquin Rodrigo's Adagio in the Alcazar of Seville. (One of my favorite pieces of music.)"
Online seminar: 20 Mar 2023 [video available on request to members]
Prof. JACKIE JUNG (Yale University) on To live's to fly: adventures on, in, and around Gothic cathedrals on Northern France
Jackie writes: “To live’s to fly, low and high/ So shake the dust off of your wings and the sleep out of your eye” — In early summer 2022, in anticipation of a new lecture course on Gothic, I took up the late songwriter Townes Van Zandt’s directive and flew back to northern France to see the biggest and baddest, most soaring and splendid of the Gothic cathedrals: Amiens, Beauvais, Chartres, Reims, Rouen, and of course Paris (though not Notre Dame). Along the way I met up with Rob Bork and Jennifer Feltman, whose connections to local conservation experts got us special access to the upper reaches of Chartres and Reims (now under scaffolding), and a close encounter with the beautiful, sculpted tympanum at Longpont-sur-Orgue. Though I don’t have new research per se to present, I’d love to take you on a virtual journey through these magnificent spaces, and share with you the many new impressions and views I gained, from the ground and from the heights.
Online seminar: 13 Feb 2023 [video available on request to members]
KRISTEN HERDMAN on Working Warp and Weft: The Materiality and Make of Medieval Tapestries
Have you ever seen a grand tapestry and wondered what makes it sparkle? How patterns were developed and used to make these monuments of fiber art? Using examples from high and later Middle Ages, this talk will discuss how tapestries were made, who bought them, and the condition concerns that manifest as they age.
Online seminar: 9 Jan 2023 [video available on request to members]
ALLAN LANGDALE on the Scrovegni Chapel with its frescoes by Giotto
Allan Langdale is an art historian who has written on aspects of the art and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean, including In a Contested Realm (2012) and Palermo: Travels in the City of Happiness (2015). He also made the documentary film The Stones of Famagusta: the Story of a Forgotten City (2008). Langdale works as a lecturer for Smithsonian Journeys and teaches at U. C. Santa Cruz. His travel blog is at Allan's Art and Architecture Worlds.