Art and Devotion: Looking at the Word

Dates: Thu Mar 15, 12

Time: 6:00pm

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

(269) 349-7775

With Jessica Brantley, Yale University
Cornelius Loew Lecture in Medieval Studies.

Panel of the Adoration of the MagiLate medieval English alabaster figures and panels illuminate not only a visual culture but a complex devotional culture made up of sights and sounds, beliefs and practices. In this talk, Jessica Brantley explores a selection of alabasters with particular attention to their literary contexts. In these objects, image and text combine in devotional practices of many kinds, from communal and festive public performances to the most private and intimate of prayers.

Jessica Brantley has taught in the Department of English at Yale University since 2000. Her scholarship focuses on the cultures of reading in medieval England, and she has distinguished herself especially in the study of Christian devotional manuscripts. Educated at Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of California, Los Angeles, Professor Brantley has been awarded several prestigious grants, including a Fulbright Grant and the Benjamin N. Duke Fellowship at the National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park, NC). Her recent book, Reading in the Wilderness, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007, won the Book of the Year Award from the Conference on Christianity and Literature.

This lecture is in conjunction with the KIA's current exhibition, Object of Devotion: Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Sponsored by the Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University.

Reception to follow.

Free and open to the public.

Panel of the Adoration of the Magi, mid 15th century, alabaster. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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