‘Display and Displacement in Medieval Art and Architecture’



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’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. 


The Courtauld’s 26th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium  

‘Display and Displacement in Medieval Art and Architecture’ 

Day 1 – Thursday 18th February, 11:00 – 15:45 

11:00 Welcome  

11:10 Session 1: Artworks on the Move – Chaired by Susannah Kingwill (The Courtauld)

Anna Henningsson (Technical University of Berlin) – Displaced Authenticity: Medieval Wall Paintings in Transformation 

Anja Katharina Frisch (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg) – English Medieval Alabaster Sculpture in Context: Modes of Reframing and Use across Continental Europe 

11:50 Discussion  

12:10 Break 

12.25 Session 2: Displaying Communities – Chaired by Rachel Alban (The Courtauld)

Elena Lavrentyeva (Institute of Theory and History of Architecture and Urban Planning, Moscow) – “Talking” sculptural decoration of the Church of Resurrection in Jerusalem as the identification of the Christian communities guarding the Holy Sepulchre in the 12th century 

Yeidy Rosa (Durham University) – Hidden and Revealed: Jewish-Muslim-Christian Relations, Women’s Power and Family Feuds Through a Recently Uncovered Mural of the Lamentation in the Cathedral of Albarracín, Teruel, Aragon, Spain, XV Century 

13:05 Discussion 

13:25 Lunch 

14:15 Session 3: Accessing Place: Imagination and Proximity – Chaired by Anna Chiara Giusa (The Courtauld)

Michele Guida Conte (Università degli Studi di Bergamo) – When Sacred Objects Shape Architecture: Santa Corona in Vicenza 

Florian Abe (Bibliotheca Hertziana) – Visualising Measurements – The Problem of ‘Original’ and (Proto)Type in Late Medieval Stations of the Cross 

Kevin Vogelaar (Independent Researcher) – Hearts Hard as Flint: Frankish Reception of Chinese Pilgrims and Relic Accessibility in the Late 13th Century 

15:15 Discussion  

15:45 End of Day 1 


Day 2 – Friday 19th February, 11:00 – 16:00 

11:00 Welcome  

11:05 Session 4: Shifting Contexts: Display and Displacement  – Chaired by Jessica Gasson (The Courtauld)

Julia Faiers (University of St Andrews) – The displacement and re-presentations of the Combefa Entombment sculptures 

Jamie Haskell (The Courtauld)  Set in stone? Shifts in the display of sculpture and wall paintings in the cloister of Pamplona Cathedral  

Iñigo Salto Santamaría (Technische Universität Berlin) – The power of temporary exhibitions – The Bayeux Tapestry at the Louvre (1803/1944) 

12:05 Discussion  

12:35 Break 

12:50 Session 5: Destroying and Salvaging – Chaired by Bella Radenović (The Courtauld)

Chiara Capulli (University of Cambridge) – Salvaging the Beata Umiltà: Vallombrosan visual identity after the 1529 Guasto of Florence  

Julian Wood (Oxford University) – ‘Remnants of Consubstantiality? Shattered images and Immanence in Byzantine Iconoclasm’ 

13:30 Discussion 

13:50 Lunch 

14:50 Session 6: Enshrining the Past – Chaired by Jasmine Clark (The Courtauld)

Samuel Dawson (The Courtauld)  Reframing Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Badia a Rofeno altarpiece as a work of Olivetan patronage 

Claire Jensen (University of Toronto) – The Madonna of the Healed: [Re]framing an Annunciation Panel Painting in Aversa 

15:30 Discussion 

15:50 Closing Remarks by Dr Tom Nickson (The Courtauld) 

16:00 End of Day 2

This event has passed.

18 Feb - 19 Feb 2021



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