Session Title

Medieval Exhibitions in the Era of Global Art History I

Sponsoring Organization(s)

International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA)

Organizer Name

Gerhard Lutz; Lloyd de Beer

Organizer Affiliation

Dommuseum Hildesheim; British Museum

Presider Name

Gerhard Lutz

Paper Title 1

Is Exhibiting a Cross-Cultural Charlemagne Possible? Ex Oriente (Aachen, 2003)

Presenter 1 Name

William Diebold

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Reed College

Paper Title 2

The Constance Council 1414-1418: World Event of the Middle Ages in 2014: Presenting Medieval Culture as a Challenge in a Secular World

Presenter 2 Name

Karin Ehlers

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg

Paper Title 3

Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Making Medieval Saharan Africa Tangible and Visible in the Museum

Presenter 3 Name

Kathleen Bickford Berzock

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Block Museum, Northwestern Univ.

Paper Title 4

The Art of Africa in Medieval Exhibitions: Confronting Issues of Terms, Associations, and US-based Discourses of Race

Presenter 4 Name

Andrea Myers Achi

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Start Date

9-5-2020 1:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1360

Description

On May 5, 2019 the Sunday edition of the New York Times appeared an article titled “Medieval Scholars Joust with White Nationalists – and One Another” by Jennifer Schuessler, which featured comments from numerous scholars in the field and brought the International Congress on Medieval Studies to the front page of one of North America’s leading newspapers for the first time in the conference’s 54-year history and pushed medieval studies into a broader public limelight. This was an impressive demonstration of the fact that the Middle Ages have moved back into the center of a broader public interest. Significantly, recent and forthcoming medieval exhibitions are not mentioned in this article at all. Had the article taken museums into view, the readers would have been confronted with an impressive number of exhibitions in recent years, taking place at numerous institutions in North America and Europe, that challenge the view of an isolated and apolitical field of medieval studies. Many of these shows have explicitly challenged Eurocentric narratives, focusing on trade routes and patterns of exchange that encouraged the movement of people, ideas, and objects across vast distances. Far from retreating into “intellectually conservative” topics and reifying nationalist histories, these exhibitions have embraced the global turn in medieval studies, challenging their publics to see the racial, religious, and regional diversity of the Middle Ages with fresh eyes. The session will focus on case studies of past, current, or future exhibitions which discuss trends from the perspectives of museums and other academic institutions. Gerhard Lutz

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May 9th, 1:30 PM

Medieval Exhibitions in the Era of Global Art History I

Schneider 1360

On May 5, 2019 the Sunday edition of the New York Times appeared an article titled “Medieval Scholars Joust with White Nationalists – and One Another” by Jennifer Schuessler, which featured comments from numerous scholars in the field and brought the International Congress on Medieval Studies to the front page of one of North America’s leading newspapers for the first time in the conference’s 54-year history and pushed medieval studies into a broader public limelight. This was an impressive demonstration of the fact that the Middle Ages have moved back into the center of a broader public interest. Significantly, recent and forthcoming medieval exhibitions are not mentioned in this article at all. Had the article taken museums into view, the readers would have been confronted with an impressive number of exhibitions in recent years, taking place at numerous institutions in North America and Europe, that challenge the view of an isolated and apolitical field of medieval studies. Many of these shows have explicitly challenged Eurocentric narratives, focusing on trade routes and patterns of exchange that encouraged the movement of people, ideas, and objects across vast distances. Far from retreating into “intellectually conservative” topics and reifying nationalist histories, these exhibitions have embraced the global turn in medieval studies, challenging their publics to see the racial, religious, and regional diversity of the Middle Ages with fresh eyes. The session will focus on case studies of past, current, or future exhibitions which discuss trends from the perspectives of museums and other academic institutions. Gerhard Lutz