ICMA at the Courtauld 2018 Lecture: 13 March

ICMA at The Courtauld Lecture 2018
Series made possible through the generosity of William M. Voelkle

Tuesday 13 March 2018
5:30pm - 6:30 pm
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre
Somerset House, Strand  WC2R 0RN


Prof. Nancy Patterson Ševčenko
Former President of the International Center of Medieval Art

All in the Family: The Byzantine imperial family of the Comnenians as patrons in the first half of the 12th century

The Comnenian imperial family dominated the later 11th and 12th centuries in Byzantium: Emperor Alexios I, and his son and successor John II, ruled for a combined total of 62 years (1081-1143). And the family was large: Alexios had nine children and John had eight, and most of these children were adults, with children of their own, by the death of John II in 1143. Given that the administration of the empire in this period centered around membership in the imperial family, the relative proximity of each family member to the emperor himself, whether by blood or by marriage, became key.

The works of art associated with this famille nombreuse consist of everything from grand monastic foundations to illuminated manuscripts to small metal reliquary crosses. Some of these works, large and small, have survived; for others, there is ample written evidence. This paper will look at the many works of art and literature commissioned by, or associated with, specific members of the family in these decades, tracking issues such as how proximity to the throne of the individual may have affected the nature and general perception of the work and its place on a spectrum between public and private.

Open to all, free admission
Lecture followed by a reception sponsored by Sam Fogg

Nancy Patterson Ševčenko is a Byzantine art historian whose work has focused primarily on illustrated lives of the saints, and on the intersection of art and liturgy. She is the author of The Life of Saint Nicholas in Byzantine Art (1983), of Illustrated Manuscripts of the Metaphrastian Menologion (1990), and of Greek Manuscripts at Princeton, Sixth to Nineteenth Century: A Descriptive Catalogue (2010) with S. Kotzabassi and D. Skemer); she is currently preparing a catalogue of the Byzantine illuminated manuscripts of the monastery of St. John on Patmos. A selection of her articles have been reprinted in her Variorum volume, The Celebration of the Saints in Byzantine Art and Liturgy (2013). She recently completed a term as the President of the International Center of Medieval Art, and is currently Visiting Scholar at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. She lives in South Woodstock, Vermont.

This lecture is presented by The Courtauld Institute of Art in association with the International Center of Medieval Art, New York, and with the support of The Courtauld Institute of Art's Research Forum.

Local arrangements: Joanna Cannon, The Courtauld Institute of Art

CAA 2018 Conference: MEDIEVAL ECHO CHAMBERS: IDEAS IN SPACE AND TIME, ICMA session Sat 24 Feb 2-3:30

Los Angeles, CA

24 February 2018, 2-3:30pm


Chairs: Jessica Barker, University of East Anglia; Jack Hartnell, University of East Anglia

Resonance and Revival in the Chapterhouse of Saint-Georges-de-Boscherville
Susan L. Ward, Rhode Island School of Design; Kathleen Nolan, Hollins University

Devotional Graffiti: Writing, Re-Enactment, and the Production of East Christian Sacred Spaces
Heather A. Badamo, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Space in Between: Medieval Bridges as Sites of Royal Spectacle
Jana Gajdošová, University of Cambridge

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: due February 9, 2018

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: due February 9, 2018

The ICMA has a budget surplus this year that can be used to support needed projects. If you have an idea of a relevant project for ICMA to fund up to US$ 10,000, please send a concise project description and budget in PDF format with the email subject line "ICMA PROPOSAL" to ICMA Administrator Ryan Frisinger awards@medievalart.org by Friday, February 9.

No proposals without a budget will be considered at this time. All proposals with a description and budget that are received will be discussed at the ICMA meeting at CAA. The funds will then be allotted by the Executive Committee of the ICMA Board.

ICMA membership is required to submit a proposal. If not yet a member, join here: http://www.medievalart.org/become-a-member


Call for applications: Copyeditor of GESTA

Gesta, published by the University of Chicago Press for the International Center of Medieval Art, seeks a copyeditor to work closely with the coeditors of the journal on the editing of two issues per year (with four or five articles in each issue). 
The copyeditor should be familiar with scholarly publishing practices with at least two years’ experience copyediting humanities scholarship.  Reading knowledge of some of the most relevant foreign languages is essential. Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume with an hourly rate, and at least one editing sample that displays the editing mode. Send materials by email to the incoming editors, Susan Boynton (slb184@columbia.edu) and Diane J. Reilly (dreilly@indiana.edu). Review of applications will begin on February 15, 2018.


due 1 February 2018

The ICMA is pleased to offer grants for graduate students to present their research at conferences. Two awards will be made this year, at $600 each, to help defray the cost of travel. Applicants must be ICMA members and currently enrolled in a graduate program. These funds are available only to students delivering papers.

Applicants must submit: 
1) A abstract of the paper that will be delivered in 300 words or less.
2) A short statement outlining the importance of the conference for academic or professional development
3) A budget proposal

Applications are due by 1 February 2018. Please submit materials as PDF attachments to Ryan Frisinger at awards@medievalart.org.


The ICMA Student Committee is currently seeking new members for two-year (renewable) terms. We welcome applications from current graduate students (MA, MPhil, PhD) who anticipate being in higher education for at least two more years.

The Student Committee has a diverse portfolio that includes organizing panels at international conferences (Leeds and Kalamazoo), contributing to the ICMA Newsletter, promoting opportunities for students in our field, and creating fora for students in medieval art to meet colleagues, and share research (in person, through social media, and in print), and actively participate in the ICMA.

Potential future initiatives include an oral history project, establishing a mentorship program, and creating a network and lists of resources for medieval art history students researching abroad.

Potential members should submit the following to meg.bernstein@gmail.com and asears@berkeley.edu for consideration by 15 February 2018: current CV and a cover letter detailing interest in participating, relevant experience, current and future initiatives of interest. Applicants are welcome (but not required to) include ideas for future ICMA SC activities.


ICMA members and friends of medieval art are invited to attend the ICMA Annual Meeting on Friday 23 February 2018 in Los Angeles. All are welcome, but please fill out this form for each attendee: https://goo.gl/forms/ptVEtVfe2EmVw8922

At the ICMA Annual Meeting, we thank David Raizman (our current Treasurer), outgoing Board of Directors, and committee members for their services. We inaugurate an elected Treasurer and the incoming Board of Directors and committee members. 

Cash bar available; small bites will be served. Remarks at 7:30pm. 

Friday 23 February 2018

The Gallery Bar and Cognac Room
Millennium Biltmore Hotel
506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071
(Enter on South Olive Street, across from Pershing Square)

Any questions, please email rsvp@medievalart.org.


The 2018 Elliott Prize has been awarded to Alison Locke Perchuk (California State University Channel Islands) for her article, "Schismatic (Re)Visions: Sant'Elia near Nepi and Sta. Maria in Trastevere in Rome, 1120-1143,Gesta 55 (2016), 179-212. 

The Medieval Academy of America's Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize is awarded for a first article in the field of medieval studies judged by the selection committee to be of outstanding quality. Van Courtlandt Elliott was Executive Secretary of the Academy and Editor of Speculum from 1965 to 1970. The prize that bears his name consists of a certificate and a monetary award of $500.

ICMA MEMBERS: vote now until 31 December

ICMA members are invited to vote for incoming Treasurer, Board of Directors, Nominating Committee Chair, and Nominating Committee. Voting is open until 31 December.

All current ICMA members received two emails: one with instructions on the voting process and another directly from BallotBin with the a unique ID to vote anonymously. 

Results will be announced at the February 2018 ICMA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

ICMA Statement: United States withdrawal from UNESCO

The ICMA is alarmed and saddened by the announcement on 12 October 2017 that the United States will withdraw from UNESCO in 2018. The United States was one of the founding members of UNESCO in 1945, and it was the first state to ratify the World Heritage Convention in 1972. The withdrawal of the United States is an abandonment of core principles, many times asserted in the United States, of the protection of common heritage, both natural and cultural, and it is a serious abdication of responsibility when heritage in that country and abroad has come increasingly under threat. We call upon the proper authorities to reverse this decision and to embrace even more fully a commitment to heritage worldwide.


Call for Proposals: ICMA session at St. Louis Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, due 10 Dec

ICMA @ St. Louis Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 18-20 June 2018

 The International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) seeks proposals for sessions to be held under the organization’s sponsorship in 2018 at the St. Louis Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies to be held 18-20 June 2018 in St. Louis.  Session organizers and speakers must be ICMA members.

Proposals must include a session abstract, a CV of the organizer(s), and, as requested by the St Louis Symposium organizers, a list of speakers and titles for a 90-minute session, all in one single Doc or PDF with the organizer’s name in the title. The conference organizers will post the CFS now on their website to assist with recruiting paper proposals.

Please direct all session proposals and inquiries by 10 December 2017 to the Chair of the ICMA Programs & Lectures Committee: Janis Elliott, School of Art, Texas Tech University.  Email: janis.elliott@ttu.edu

The ICMA Programs and Lectures committee will select a session to sponsor and will notify the organizer(s) by 20 December 2017. The successful organizer(s) will then submit the ICMA-sponsored proposal by 31 December 2017 directly to the St Louis Symposium Committee which will make the final decision:   http://smrs.slu.edu/cfp.html

Thanks to a generous grant from the Kress Foundation, funds may be available to defray travel costs of speakers in ICMA-sponsored sessions up to a maximum of $600 for domestic travel and of $1200 for international travel. If available, the Kress funds are allocated for travel and hotel only. Speakers in ICMA sponsored sessions will be refunded only after the conference, against travel receipts.  In addition to speakers, session organizers delivering papers as an integral part of the session (i.e. with a specific title listed in the program) are now also eligible to receive travel funding.  

Go to:  http://www.medievalart.org/kress-travel-grant/

ICMA Board of Directors adopts Anti-Harassment Policy

On 15 October 2017, the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) Board of Directors adopted an Anti-Harassment Policy. The text is below and can be found in the About Us section of www.medievalart.org.


The International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) is an international and inclusive society that values the diversity of its membership. We do not condone the ideological misappropriation of medieval sources or scholarship in Medieval Studies. We will not tolerate bullying, threatening, belittling, or harassing behavior towards others, especially untenured colleagues, contingent faculty, independent scholars, and students, who are the most professionally vulnerable members of our community. We advocate for ethical standards of civil exchange, tolerance, and respect that affirm every scholar’s right to practice in an intellectual environment that encourages pluralism and a global approach. We denounce racism, religious bias, gender bias, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of personal discrimination. We welcome a variety of scholarly ideas and opinions expressed according to high standards of mutual respect and professional conduct.

ICMA reception at "Last Things: Luxury Goods and Memento Mori Culture in Europe, c. 1400-1550" Symposium; 3-4 November

The ICMA is sponsoring a reception at the upcoming symposium: “Last Things: Luxury Goods and Memento Mori Culture in Europe, c. 1400-1550,” to be held at Bowdoin College on Friday and Saturday November 3-4, 2017.

This symposium has been organized in conjunction with The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe, a significant international loan exhibition currently on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. The symposium includes a reception at the Museum, sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art.

Further information about the exhibition and symposium, including a complete schedule and directions, can be found here: http://www.bowdoin.edu/symposia/last-things/index.shtml.  

Exhibition website: http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/exhibitions/2017/Ivory-Mirror.shtml


ICMA Newsletter: Call for Information, due 15 Nov 2017

15 NOVEMBER 2017

Please send information to newsletter@medievalart.org

Have you recently published a book? Have you received a national or international award? Do you have any other news about our colleagues in the medieval art world? We want to hear about it!

Please send us a notice to the email above. We can only accept notices not previously announced in our newsletter and books or awards published/awarded within the last year. 

NEW !  Information on exhibitions and symposia should be sent to our new Assistant Editor for Events and Exhibitions, Allison McCann, at eventsexhibitions@medievalart.org

ICMA Announces 2017 Annual Book Prize Recipient

The International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) is pleased to announce the 2017 Annual Book Prize is awarded to:

Ittai Weinryb, The Bronze Object in the Middle Ages: Sculpture, Material, Making
Cambridge University Press, 2016, ISBN 9781316402429      

Ittai Weinryb’s The Bronze Object in the Middle Ages: Sculpture, Material, Making has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 book prize of the International Center of Medieval Art. Published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press, Weinryb’s monograph makes the case that the medieval bronze object is a coherent subject of study, identifying bronze as the material used for the most prestigious works of art in the medieval period. He brings to bear evidence for a multiplicity of objects through chapters on making, signifying, acting and being. This is a remarkably original approach to the notions and uses of bronze in the early and central Middle Ages. Addressing both the making and the reception of monumental works in bronze, he argues that new notions were developed to imagine ideas about public works of art – including the fascinating concept of sound as inherent in bronze –together with the relationship between artisanal techniques and divine actions. Weinryb interrogates how the newly introduced ancient philosophy, superstition and cosmology also affected ideas related to bronze works. Probing the interconnection between notions of divine and human creativity, his analysis invigorates the current art historical discussion concerning materiality and public monuments, particularly the public as the site of reception of works of art by a large audience. The book’s strength, however, is less in original discoveries than in the complex interpretation it provides, e.g. of the problem of the pagan history of the material or the relationship among alloys, alchemy, and idolatry. Weinryb invites the reader to consider such apparently unrelated aspects as technological developments, worship, pagan associations, Biblical hints at the use of bronze, belief in the magical agency of images, etc., as mutually interacting in giving shape to the experience and perception of bronze objects in the Middle Ages. All this makes Weinryb's book especially groundbreaking, and useful not only for specialists but also as a good pedagogical tool for students, given that it is written in an easily accessible style. The Bronze Object in the Middle Ages: Sculpture, Material, Making is truly thought-provoking in the best sense of the term. 

Michele Bacci
William Diebold
Beate Fricke
Kathleen Nolan
Therese Martin, Chair, ICMA Annual Book Prize Jury

Cambridge University Press site: click here
ICMA Annual Book Prize site: click here



ICMA Statement: Misappropriation of Medieval Studies and Anti-Harassment

The International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) is an international and inclusive society that values the diversity of its membership. We do not condone the ideological misappropriation of medieval sources or scholarship in Medieval Studies. We will not tolerate bullying, threatening, belittling, or harassing behavior towards others, especially untenured colleagues and students, who are the most professionally vulnerable members of our community. We advocate for ethical standards of civil exchange, tolerance, and respect that affirm every scholar's right to practice in an intellectual environment that encourages pluralism. We denounce racism, gender bias, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of personal discrimination. We welcome a variety of scholarly ideas and opinions expressed according to high standards of mutual respect and professional conduct

ICMA statement: Medievalists Respond to Charlottesville

The ICMA is a signatory to the joint letter written by the Medieval Academy of America denouncing white supremacy and the misuse of medieval history and art.

Medievalists Respond to Charlottesville
In light of the recent events in the United States, most recently the racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the undersigned community of medievalists condemns the appropriation of any item or idea or material in the service of white supremacy. In addition, we condemn the abuse of colleagues, particularly colleagues of color, who have spoken publicly against this misuse of history.

As scholars of the medieval world we are disturbed by the use of a nostalgic but inaccurate myth of the Middle Ages by racist movements in the United States. By using imagined medieval symbols, or names drawn from medieval terminology, they create a fantasy of a pure, white Europe that bears no relationship to reality. This fantasy not only hurts people in the present, it also distorts the past. Medieval Europe was diverse religiously, culturally, and ethnically, and medieval Europe was not the entire medieval world. Scholars disagree about the motivations of the Crusades—or, indeed, whether the idea of “crusade” is a medieval one or came later—but it is clear that racial purity was not primary among them.

Contemporary white nationalists are not the first Americans to have turned nostalgic views of the medieval period to racist purposes. It is, in fact, deeply ironic that the Klan’s ideas of medieval knighthood were used to harass immigrants who practiced the forms of Christianity most directly connected with the medieval church.  Institutions of scholarship must acknowledge their own participation in the creation of interpretations of the Middle Ages (and other periods) that served these narratives. Where we do find bigotry, intolerance, hate, and fear of “the other” in the past—and the Middle Ages certainly had their share—we must recognize it for what it is and read it in its context, rather than replicating it.

The medieval Christian culture of Europe is indeed a worthy object of study, in fact a necessary one. Medieval Studies must be broader than just Europe and just Christianity, however, because to limit our object of study in such a way gives an arbitrary and false picture of the past. We see a medieval world that was as varied as the modern one. It included horrific violence, some of it committed in the name of religion; it included feats of bravery, justice, harmony, and love, some of them also in the name of religion. It included movement of people, goods, and ideas over long distances and across geographical, linguistic, and religious boundaries. There is much to be learned from studying the period, whether we choose to focus on one community and text or on wider interactions. What we will not find is the origin of a pure and supreme white race.

Every generation of scholars creates its own interpretations of the past. Such interpretations must be judged by how well they explain the writings, art, and artifacts that have come down to us. As a field we are dedicated to scholarly inquiry. As the new semester approaches at many institutions, we invite those of you who have the opportunity to join us. Take a class or attend a public lecture on medieval history, literature, art, music. Learn about this vibrant and varied world, instead of simply being appalled by some racist caricature of it. See for yourself what lessons it holds for the modern world.