IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1615: Collective Display: Medieval Objects out of Isolation, I

Thursday 5 July 2018, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas
Organisers:Amanda W. Dotseth, Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas
Shannon Wearing, Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Moderator/Chair:Therese Martin, Instituto de Historia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid
Paper 1615-aStoring Sacred Treasures: The Medieval Wunderkammer
(Language: English)
Lesley Milner, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Ecclesiastical History
Paper 1615-bA Woman's Agency Reflected in Objects: The Identities of Queen Sancha of León and Castile
(Language: English)
Zaellotius A. Wilson, School of Art, Arizona State University
Index terms: Art History - General, Women's Studies
Paper 1615-cMemory as a Treasury / The Treasury as Memory: Medieval Networks of Collection - Inventories, Labels, and Inscribed Objects
(Language: English)
Amanda Luyster, Department of Visual Arts, College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts
Index terms: Art History - General, Manuscripts and Palaeography

Whether in a church treasury, on an altar, or in a museum, objects from the Middle Ages have long been grouped in carefully assembled collections. The collective display of medieval reliquaries, manuscripts, and liturgical goods invites – even compels – a dialogue between their images and materials that can be overlooked when the same items are examined in isolation, as is often the case in a discipline where scholars tend to specialize in particular regions, types of institutions, or media. However, the way we interpret objects is fundamentally impacted by the complementary context of their use and by the collectors or patrons who brought them together. The collection creates a new context as each object is added to it, and it shifts over time, whether as the result of a medieval vision or a modern one.

This pair of sessions invites participants to reinsert objects typically studied in isolation into the context of their collections. The sessions will be devoted to objects and their medieval groupings, such as cathedral treasuries, altars, or an individual owner’s holdings. We seek papers that probe how the collective display of medieval objects impacts their interpretation in a particular historical moment, or over time; redefines their use or meaning; and/or articulates identity (personal, local, national, etc.)