Mod Gothic? Medieval Architecture in the Modern Ages

Image of a gothic building against a blue sky i Coventry cathedral. Defacto, CC by 4.0

Scholars have long recognised the close connections between Gothic revival, restoration and architectural history in the nineteenth century. But how did personal, institutional and political circumstances shape understanding of medieval architecture in the twentieth century? In tribute to the extraordinary scholarship and teaching of Peter Kidson (1925-2019) and Paul Crossley (1945-2019), speakers at this online conference consider the personalities, technologies and geographies that determined how medieval architecture was studied and taught after 1945. ‘Each age builds its own Gothic cathedral’, wrote Paul Crossley: what did the Modern Ages make of the Middle Ages?

Organised by Tom Nickson (The Courtauld) 

1 Jul - 2 Jul 2021

Thursday 1st July, 2pm - 6.30pm, Friday 2nd July, 2pm - 6.30pm

Free, booking essential

Registration closes 30 minutes before the event start time. If you do not receive log in details on the day of the event, please contact 






Day One: Thursday 1st July

2.00pm: Deborah Swallow: Welcome

2.15pm: Elizabeth Sears, ‘Panofsky on the Gothic Style: New Texts’.

2.45pm: Paul Binski, ‘Christine de Pizan, Pevsner and Panofsky’.

3.15pm: Discussion

3.45pm: Break

4.00pm: Alexandra Gajewski, ‘Two Sugers: Kidson, Crossley and Saint-Denis’.

4.30pm: Peter Kurmann and Brigitte Kurmann-Schwarz, ‘Royal images in Strasbourg Cathedral’s Gothic nave: their conceptual transformations and place in historiography’.

5.00pm: Discussion

5.20pm: Break

5.30pm: Eric Fernie, ‘The Study of Medieval Architectural Proportions in the Twentieth Century’.

6.00pm: Sarah Pearson, ‘Peter Kidson’s Book, From Greek Temples to Gothic Cathedrals: Studies of Architectural Design in Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages’.

6.15pm: Discussion

Day Two, Friday 2nd July

2.00pm: Zoë Opačić and Klára Benešovská, ‘Axes of Meaning: Paul Crossley and Gothic Bohemia’

2.30pm: Tomasz Węcławowicz, ‘Paul Crossley’s fascinations: Gothic in Lesser Poland’.

3.00pm: Discussion

3.30pm: Break

3.45pm: Lindy Grant, ‘Photography and the Architectural Historian: a perspective from the Conway Library’.

4.15pm: Jeffrey Hamburger, ‘Paul on the Road’.

4.45pm: Discussion

5.15pm: Break

5.30pm: Stephen Murray, ‘Historiographical reflections’

6.00pm: Tom Nickson, Concluding remarks

Paper abstracts can be downloaded here