New Directions in the Study of Medieval Sculpture

The focus on the materiality of medieval sculpture has proven crucial to its study and has expanded our historical understanding of sculpture itself. Whether monumental relief sculpture in stone, wooden sculptures in the round, sculpted altarpieces, ivory plaques or enamelled reliquaries, the possibilities for research on medieval sculpture now extend far beyond the established canon.

Contemporary medieval sculpture studies have opened the field to comparative and inclusive research that embraces the social, performative, gendered and ritual uses of medieval sculpture. This two-day conference provides an opportunity for scholars and students to reflect on the field and ask how do we investigate medieval sculpture today and what might come ‘after’ materiality?

This two-day international conference assesses the state of the field of medieval sculpture, exploring new directions, approaches and technologies for research. The discussion-based format of the conference will provide an opportunity for conversation amongst delegates and speakers.

Friday 16 March, 12:30 - 7:30pm


Session One: Time

 Chair: Dr Peter Dent (University of Bristol)
 Giovanni Pisano, the Mechanical Clock and the Epiphany of the Moving Image
Dr Luca Palozzi (University of Edinburgh)
 Mutable Monuments: Time, Decay and Transformation in Medieval Sculpture
Dr Jessica Barker (University of East Anglia)

Session Two: Copies and Reconstruction

 Chair: Michaela Zöschg (Victoria & Albert Museum)
 Reimagining the Font Canopy of St Peter Mancroft, Norwich with new finds from the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Dr Amy Gillette (The Barnes Foundation)
Dr Zachary Stewart (Texas A&M University)
 Medieval Monumental Sculpture on Display in the Modern German Museum: Theory, Practice and the Problem of the Copy
Prof William Diebold (Reed College)

Session Three: Single Sculpture Study Roundtable

 Chair: Dr Luca Palozzi (University of Edinburgh)
 Multiples Perspectives on a Virgin and Child by the Maestro della Santa Caterina Gualino
Dr Xavier Dectot (National Museums Scotland)
Diana de Belliaigue (National Museums Scotland)
Dr Rachel King (Burrell Collection)
 Wine reception to follow


Saturday 17 March 2018, 10am - 6:30pm


Session Four: Materiality

 Chair: Dr Elisa Foster (Henry Moore Institute)
 Speaking Sculptures
Dr Kim Woods (Open University)
 Material or efficient cause? A critique of the agency of sculpture
Dr Julian Luxford (University of St Andrews)

Session Five: Material Networks

 Chair: Dr Elisa Foster (Henry Moore Institute)
 Material Translations: Medieval Sculpture in a World System
Dr Sarah Guérin (University of Pennsylvania)
 Cultural Spaces
Dr Peter Capreau (M-Museum Leuven)

Session Six: Medieval Sculpture and Photography

 Chair: Dr Jessica Barker (University of East Anglia)
 Hidden Faces and Facets: Taking an Oblique Look at Medieval Ivories
Nancy Thebaut (University of Chicago)
 Spatial issues in the later sculpted bosses from Norwich Cathedral Cloister (c.1410 - c.1430)
Robert Hawkins (University of Cambridge)

Session Seven: Making Sense: Body and Mind

 Chair: Dr Stacy Boldrick (University of Leicester)
 From 2D to 4D: The Cross of the Scriptures and the Embodied Eye
Dr Heather Pulliam (University of Edinburgh)
 Making Gestures: bodily techniques of stone carving
Dr Agata Gomółka (University of East Anglia)
 Conference Response
Prof Paul Binski (University of Cambridge)

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

Galleries: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm

Research Library: Monday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm; Sunday, 1 - 5pm
Archive of Sculptors' Papers: Tuesday to Friday, by prior appointment

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