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Medieval cross reliquary to be art history lecture focus

March 6, 2012

Medieval cross reliquary to be art history lecture focus

Cynthia Hahn

Professor Cynthia Hahn

Hunter College Professor of Art History Cynthia Hahn will present "Lively Art: The Medieval Cross Reliquary" in a talk scheduled for Thursday, March 8. Free and open to the public, the lecture will begin at 5 p.m. in Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall. 

Hahn teaches both early and late medieval art at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her courses focus on issues of production and meaning for both medieval and contemporary makers and audiences. Her current projects include a book-length essay on reliquaries from early Christianity to the Sack of 1204 to be published in 2012 by Penn State University Press. That study began with her work on arm reliquaries (" The Voices of the Saints, What Do Speaking Reliquaries Say?" Gesta, 36, 1997) and has grown into an examination of the art historical issues surrounding relics and reliquaries. The work has been supported by residencies at the Institute for Advanced Study and the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France.

In line with these interests, she recently participated in the planning of the major exhibition Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in theMiddle Ages that had venues in Cleveland, Baltimore, and London. She wrote an essay for the catalog. During the run of the show, Hunter staged its own show in which medieval reliquaries were put in dialogue with contemporary art: Objects of Devotion and Desire: Medieval Relic to Contemporary Art

Hanh has published work in Art History, Art Bulletin, Gesta, Speculum, and many other journals and collections. Her books include a study on the Hannover manuscript of the lives of saints Kilian and Margaret published by Graz, and Portrayed on the Heart: Narrative Effect in Pictorial Lives of the Saints from the Tenth through the Thirteenth Century, University of California Press, 2001.

Hahn earned her Ph.D. degree from the Johns Hopkins University and her M.A. degree from the University of Chicago.



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