On the Framing of Women: Art Historical and Theological Perspectives

Speakers: Dr Jennifer Sliwka - King’s College London and Professor Tina Beattie - Catherine of Siena College

Fragment of an ivory panel with a frontal face i Phoenician Ivory Panel, 900–700 BCE, 11 x 9 cm. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Following the recent opening of Reframed: The Woman in the Window at Dulwich Picture Gallery—to great critical acclaim—this seminar will offer an opportunity to hear from its curator, Jennifer Sliwka, about some of the religious traditions of depicting women in or by windows, as well as the legacy of such sacred motifs in the wider history of art.

Author of Woman in the New Century Theology Series (among many other distinguished publications), Tina Beattie will bring a Christian theologian’s perspective to the questions raised by the exhibition, and by the history of how women have been represented, viewed, and treated in Christianity.

As is usual in the Sacred Traditions & the Arts Seminar, these two papers are intended to open an interdisciplinary as well as a personal dialogue, in which the audience will be invited to join.

Dr Jennifer Sliwka, King’s College London

Jennifer Sliwka is an art historian and curator specialising in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, Jennifer is also interested in transhistorical studies, making connections between historic and contemporary art in particular. At King’s she is responsible for overseeing the Visual Commentary on Scripture project (TheVCS.org), a free online resource which commissions scholars to curate digital exhibitions on art and the Bible, and for teaching on KCL’s collaborative MA ‘Christianity & the Arts’ with the National Gallery. From 2007-17 she worked as a Curator at the National Gallery, curating exhibitions including: ‘Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500’ (2011), ‘Visions of Paradise: Botticini’s Palmieri Altarpiece’ (2015-16) and ‘Monochrome: Painting in Black and White’ (2017-18).

Professor Tina Beattie, Catherine of Siena College

Until 2020 Tina Beattie was Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Roehampton in London. She has now left her full-time academic post to focus on independent research and writing, but she continues in her role as Director of Catherine of Siena College – an online college offering courses in theology, gender and social justice based at Roehampton. Tina’s research and academic publications are primarily in the areas of Marian theology and art; psychoanalytic approaches to sacramentality, desire and gender, and sexual and reproductive ethics. She is a regular contributor to the media on issues of religion and culture, including BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day and writing for the Catholic weekly The Tablet.

About the seminar series:

The seminar on Sacred Traditions and the Arts is a joint venture between the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s and The Courtauld. It seeks to place researchers in dialogue who are working on any aspect of the sacred and visual culture. It is open to all scholars and students who have an interest in exploring the intersections of religion and art regardless of period, geography or tradition.

Organised by Dr Scott Nethersole (The Courtauld) and Professor Ben Quash (King’s College London).

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27 May 2022

Friday 27th May 2022, 6.30pm - 8.00pm

Free, limited spaces, booking essential

Research Forum Seminar Room, Vernon Square