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Faculty Honors & Awards, Laura Weigert





Laura Weigert, Associate Professor of Art History, has been appointed a Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (National Gallery of Art, Washington). She has also received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for her current project, entitled, Images in Action: The Theatricality of Franco-Flemish Art in the late Middle Ages and its Pictorial Afterlife. Her work focuses on the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when the orchestration of dramatic spectacles in French and Flemish churches, courts, and city streets led to an increasing demand for large-scale portable pictures and to the production of pictures meant to document these performances. The project addresses these two types of images. The first part looks at panel paintings, painted cloths, and tapestries, which played both a vital role in liturgical, para-liturgical, and secular drama and depicted the same themes as those enacted by live actors. It argues that these pictures achieved their significance and efficacy through a dynamic exchange and perceived phenomenological confluence with contemporary dramatic performances. They provide, thereby, a vestige of the theatricality shared by late medieval pictures and performances.  The second part of the study turns to a group of paintings, illuminations, and prints, which claim, either visually or through their accompanying written texts, to represent dramatic performances that took place in the past. She demonstrates how these pictures both participated in the transformation of the play-going experience and contributed to the conception of the medieval theater in popular and scholarly accounts. Consequently, these pictures have distorted our understanding of how contemporary viewers experienced late medieval pictures and performances.

Honors and Awards | June 2009 - May 2010



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