Maggie Crosland

PhD student

Thesis: Considering Utility and Adaptation in the Hours of Philip the Bold 

Supervised by Alixe Bovey and Prof. Susie Nash

Described by L. M. J Delaissé as the “medieval bestseller,” the book of hours is one of the most exhaustively studied objects from the late medieval period, and those commissioned by the Valois Dukes of Burgundy are no exception. These objects, however, have been predominantly considered in the context of the development of manuscript illumination, rather than how as prayer books they reflect the devotional practices and interests of some of the leading political figures in late fourteenth and fifteenth-century Northern Europe.

My research focuses on Philip the Bold (1342–1404), the first Valois Duke of Burgundy, and the manuscripts that he commissioned for his own use. Using his book of hours as my primary case study, it is my aim to consider how the visual program and textual contents of this object reflect not only the devotional interests of the duke, but how it was considered as a devotional aid. My thesis will explore this as well as other manuscripts produced for members of the French royal family in this period, considering topics such as text-image relationships, textual adaptations, and political affiliations in order to understand the evolving consideration of the book of hours not only on behalf of Philip, but also across the Valois Burgundian dynasty.


  • 2015 – The Courtauld Institute of Art, PhD Candidate
  • 2011 – The Courtauld Institute of Art
    MA History of Art, “Commemoration, Salvation and Splendour: Aspects of Artistic Production and Patronage in France and the Burgundian Netherlands, c. 1380–1520 with Professor Susie Nash
    Dissertation: “Harley 2923: Aspects of Production, Patronage, and Use in a Late Fifteenth-Century Flemish Book of Hours”
  • 2010 – Bowdoin College
    BA Art History


  • Autumn 2018, Courtauld Institute of Art, Associate Lecturer, “Case Studies in Gothic Art: Intention and Reception”
  • Autumn 2017, Courtauld Institute of Art, Associate Lecturer, “Case Studies in Gothic Art: Intention and Reception”
  • Autumn 2016, Courtauld Institute of Art Teaching Assistant, Foundations Lecture Series (The Middle Ages)

Research interests

  • Northern renaissance art
  • Illuminated manuscripts
  • Private devotional texts
  • Connections between private and public devotion
  • Physical use in manuscripts
  • Patronage and ownership histories
  • Burgundian court

Other academic activity

  • Co-organiser, 23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium, Courtauld Institute of Art, “Collecting (in) the Middle Ages”
  • Editor-in-chief, immediations, Volume 4, Number 2, 2017
  • Co-convenor of the Courtauld’s medieval student work-in-progress seminars, 2016–2017
  • Editorial board, immediations, Volume 4, Number 1, 2016
  • Research Associate, Art Institute of Chicago, 2013–2015
  • Graduate Intern, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2012–2013