[ONLINE] ‘Display and Displacement in Medieval Art and Architecture’ - The Courtauld Institute of Art

[ONLINE] ‘Display and Displacement in Medieval Art and Architecture’

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[ONLINE] ‘Display and Displacement in Medieval Art and Architecture’


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Doorway from the monastery of Moutiers-Saint-Jean (ca. 1250), on display at The Met Cloisters, New York.


  • TBC

Organised by

  • Susannah Kingwill - The Courtauld
  • Giosuè Fabiano - The Courtauld
  • Chloe Kellow - The Courtauld
  • Laura Melin - The Courtauld
  • Bella Radenović - The Courtauld

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From the chalices that glisten behind glass museum cases to the ritual staging of powerful relics, from the architectural fragments of once towering cathedrals to fresco schemes designed to envelope the senses of the viewer, the display and location of medieval art and architecture matter. Though often meticulously designed and executed for specific temporal and physical loci, objects frequently moved – whether purposefully, forcefully or even only imaginatively – into new contexts and topographies. Natural disasters, wars and religious conflicts – the 1202 Syria earthquake, the 1204 Sack of Constantinople, St Lucia’s Flood in 1297, or the 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain, amongst many others – contributed to the displacement of people, objects and buildings. 

Surviving sources – whether written or visual – affirm that the reciprocal relationships between objects and their sites were integral to medieval viewers’ experience of art and architecture. At a time when access to artworks and cultural sites has been largely disrupted by the current pandemic, addressing the question of how medieval art was uprooted and its display reconfigured is especially pertinent. The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 26th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium has invited speakers from various academic fields (including, but not limited to, art history, archaeology, material culture and conservation studies) to consider various forms of displacement and their visual and experiential implications for medieval art and architecture. 

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