Seminar 1:  Early Medieval Art, A New Visual Language

Following the growing naturalism and idealized images of Greek art, and the highly refined and propagandistic art of the Roman Empire, in approximately 400AD the visual arts made a drastic turn.  Discover what these changes were, why they happened, and why they continued for a thousand years – defining the Medieval period – and why, with the advent of the Renaissance, these changes were abandoned in favor of the rediscovered ancient Greek classical style.

Seminar 2:  Illuminated Manuscripts

During the darkest times of the middle ages, monasteries were the repository of written knowledge, and through the creation of beautiful illuminated manuscripts help save and spread classical and Christian thought throughout Europe.  We will look at the materials, techniques, and art of illuminated manuscripts, focusing on the Irish Book of Kells.

Seminar 3:  Cathedrals

From small, long secular buildings to the soaring spires of Gothic cathedrals, churches were the dominant form of art and architecture in the medieval period.  Follow the developments of early Christian churches through the cathedrals of the Romanesque and Gothic periods, analyzing why they looked the way they did, and how social function and engineering influenced their developments.

Seminar 4:  Pilgrimage Art

For most in the medieval period, pilgrimages were a way of life; they could be a spiritual journey, a secular punishment, a social outing, a way to see the world. We will follow a pilgrim as they set forth on their journey and learn about the various forms of pilgrimage art – both modest and extravagant – that they would encounter.

Seminar 5:  Color in Medieval Art

Peasants in drab clothing, dark churches, and cool grey stone sculptures … Not so! The Medieval world was full of color, and color functioned to better connect the Medieval participant to the experience of life and appreciation of spirituality.

Seminar 6:  Seeing Medieval Art

How do we see Medieval Art? This discussion will examine how we are exposed to art of this period, how our exposure may influence our interpretation of it, and how we might better understand it. We will try to better understand how a medieval viewer interacted with the visual art of their time, and discuss how this understanding may lead us to deeper insights.  And – why are we here? Why are we interested in looking at Medieval art? We will look at the medieval revival of the 19th century, and ask if we are undergoing a subsequent revival in the 21st century.