Photograph of someone handling a gold ring

Medieval Touch

Medieval Touch promotes the study of a diverse range of medieval objects from museum collections, ranging from the fourth century to the sixteenth. It takes the form of handling sessions, designed to encourage an informal exchange of information and ideas among Courtauld staff, research students and other London-based scholars, students and curators. The group is convened by Tom Nickson. The group meets once a term to examine and discuss a selection of works around a given theme. These handling sessions are typically led by a scholar with expertise in the given theme, and are often preceded by an informal reading group in which a small selection of pertinent texts are read and discussed. Sessions typically take place at the British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, and elsewhere, and are made possible by the generosity of curators in those collections.

Previous Handling Sessions (On the Medieval Art Research blog)

Previous handling sessions have included: objects with apotropaic inscriptions, rock crystal objects, Gothic ivories, Byzantine and early medieval ivories, enamels, alabasters, Byzantine apotropaic objects, micro-architecture, the Agnus Dei, Becket and pilgrimage, late medieval architectural prints, the Bestiary tradition, and sixteenth-century scientific instruments. Details of some of these can be found below. We’re always interested to hear from scholars and curators who would like to lead sessions in London or elsewhere in the UK, particularly in connection with wider research projects. Please email with details.

Master W and Key and late-gothic architectural prints

Becket and Pilgrimage 

The Iconography of the Agnus Dei 


Objects with apotropaic inscriptions 

Medieval Light 

The Trinity