Amanda W. Dotseth

PhD student

Thesis: ‘San Quirce de Burgos: Piety and Patrimony in the Long Life of a Romanesque Church’

Supervised by Prof. John Lowden and Dr Therese Martin, CSIC, Madrid

European Research Council Starting Grant No. 263036, Reassessing the Roles of Women as ‘Makers’ of Medieval Art and Architecture, Predoctoral Fellow

The rural monastic church of San Quirce in the Spanish province of Burgos (Castilla y León) is recognized by scholars, if only briefly treated, for its role in the development of Romanesque sculpture in Iberia. The church survives today as a little known but exquisitely decorated building that was documented as a college of canons under the cathedral of Burgos in 1147. It remained as such until its possessions were dissolved by the Spanish government in 1834. Having been in private hands since that time, the Romanesque church is now located within a private hunting reserve and has never been the subject of a monographic study. This study treats not only its heyday in the first half of the twelfth century, but also the site’s changes and development over time.

The history of San Quirce reveals links to Castile’s formative period during the tenth century and to the powerful nearby monasteries of Santo Domingo de Silos and San Pedro de Arlanza, in addition to the cathedral of Oca and, after 1075, that of Burgos. Meanwhile, the existing church’s architectural features and high-quality, enigmatic sculptural program bear evidence of shared trends and aesthetics with the better-known Romanesque churches along the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela. Likewise, it is San Quirce’s built environment that provides the most compelling insights into its past. Careful analysis of the single-nave Romanesque church’s masonry, masons’ marks, and sculpture (dating variously between the late eleventh to mid-twelfth century) reveals frequent and meaningful changes in concept, unusual for such a small building. A series of pauses in construction transformed San Quirce from what had likely begun as a simple, single-cell church to one with an ambitiously innovative domed crossing, possibly the earliest of its kind in Burgos.


  • B.A. University of Arizona, 2002
  • M.A. Southern Methodist University, 2006

Research interests

  • Romanesque Architecture
  • Historiography
  • Collecting History
  • Conservation and Restoration History


  • 2006 – 2009     Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
    Docent trainings, class lectures, gallery talks and supervision of undergraduate and graduate student internships.
  • 2004 – 2006     Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.
    Teaching Assistant of Mark Roglán, chief curator of the Meadows Museum and assistant professor of art history.

Conference papers and lectures

  • 2014 “On a Giant’s Shoulders (or in His Shadow?): San Quirce, Silos, and the Legacy of the Rural Romanesque,” in “From Legacy to Liability? Responses to a Century of  Scholarship on the Art of Medieval Spain,” 21st International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 7-10 July.
  • 2014 “Shifting Perspective: Regionalism and Romanesque Historiography in the Case of San Quirce,” Research Seminar, Instituto de Historia, CCHS, CISC, Madrid, 26 June.
  • 2014    “Profile of a Building (Process): San Quirce de Burgos and the Rural Romanesque in Castile,” in AVISTA-sponsored session, “Stone: New Research Concerning Masons & Sculptors,” 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 8-11 May. Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Recent publications

  • 2008    “From Spain to Texas: The Meadows Museum and the Formation of Spanish Art Collections in the United States of America,” Quintana 7 (2008), 59-90.
  • 2008    “Maestro Bartolomé’s Use of Prints in the Ciudad Rodrigo Altarpiece,” in Fernando Gallego and His Workshop: The Altarpiece from Ciudad Rodrigo – Paintings from the Collection of the University of Arizona Museum of Art, eds. Amanda W. Dotseth, Barbara C. Anderson and Mark A. Roglán, London, 2008, 117-145.

Other academic activity

  • 2012-2015, Predoctoral Fellow, Instituto de Historia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid
  • 2015, Secretary, Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Technology, Science, and Art (AVISTA)
  • 2006 – 2009, Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Assistant Curator.
  • 2003 – 2004, Fulbright Fellowship, Spain: “Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-century Restorations of Spanish Medieval Churches.”