Perspectives on Medieval Art

USD $60.00

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ISBN: 978-1-904832-69-0

224 Pages

254 x 210 mm (8 ¼ x 10 in)

90 colour illustrations

In association with the Museum of Biblical Art, New York

February 2010


Examines medieval art from a number of different viewpoints to reveal how the art of the Middle Ages provides a unique insight into the wider issues of medieval politics and culture

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Essay by Thomas Cahill. Contributions by Dirk H. Breiding, Margot Fassler, Ena G. Heller, Robin M. Jensen, Kathryn Kueny, C. Griffith Mann, Mary C. Moorman, Xavier John Seubert and Nancy Wu.

Contributions from leading theologians and historians variously study life and art in the Middle Ages, why the medieval period matters today and how medieval art speaks to a 21st-century audience. Scholars from different disciplines, including Thomas Cahill and Kathryn Kueny, consider individual works of art simultaneously and examine the whole subject of teaching medieval art from museum to divinity school, to the university and college classroom.

Lavishly illustrated, with colour photographs of medieval buildings and monuments, art objects and illuminated manuscripts, and including suggestions for further reading and a comprehensive index, this volume is a major contribution to our broader understanding of medieval art and its teaching, as well as society’s longing for ecclesiastical drama, the desires of patrons, the wider social framework and distinct regional aesthetics.

This volume is based on the proceedings of the Seeing the Medieval: Realms of Faith/Visions for Today symposium organised by the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture, Fordham University and the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA), New York.

Author biographies

Dirk H. Breiding is the J.J. Medveckis Associate Curator of Arms and Armor at The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Thomas Cahill is the author of the best-selling series The Hinges of History and has taught at Queens College, Fordham University, and Seton Hall University.

Margot Fassler is the Robert S. Tangeman Professor of Music History and Liturgy, Yale University.

Ena Giurescu Heller is the Bruce A. Beal Director, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Winter Park, FL

Robin M. Jensen is the Luce Chancellor’s Professor in the History of Christian Art and Worship at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee.

Kathryn Kueny is the director of the Religious Studies Program and professor of Theology at Fordham University.

C. Griffith Mann is Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and oversees the medieval collection and departmental staff at both The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters.

Mary C. Moorman holds a Juris Doctor in law with a focus on religious legal systems from Boston University. She completed her work in medieval systematic theology at Yale and Southern Methodist University.

Patricia C. Pongracz is the executive director at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown, NJ.

Xavier John Seubert is professor of Liturgy and Sacramental Theology at Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo, NY and is the Thomas Plassmann Distinguished Professor of Art and Theology Emeritus at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY.

Nancy Wu is senior managing Museum Educator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword and Acknowledgments by Ena Giurescu Heller and Patricia C. Pongracz
  2. Why the Medieval Matters by Ena Giurescu Heller
  3. The Middle Ages in Life and Art by Thomas Cahill
  4. Teaching Medieval Art in Museums and on the Web
    From the Lecture Hall to Museum Gallery: Teaching Medieval Art Using Primary Objects by Patricia C. Pongracz
    Teaching Medieval Architecture at The Cloisters by Nancy Wu
    Cataloguing Medieval Manuscript Fragments: A Window on the Scholar’s Workshop, with an Emphasis on Electronic Resources by Margot Fassler
  5. Reading Medieval Liturgical Objects: Perspectives from Different Fields of Study
    The Living Past: Form and Meaning in a Late Medieval Eucharistic Chalice from the Walters Art Museum by C. Griffith Mann
    Liturgical Instruments and the Placing of Presence by Xavier John Seubert