Colloque – Textile Gifts in the Middle Ages – Objects, Actors, and Representations

Gifts of textiles and clothing appeared in diverse contexts and fulfilled various functions in pre-modern Europe. They could be offered in the course of an initiation rite and or an act of social transition, including upon investiture, marriage, or entry into a monastery. Gifts of clothing to the poor, meanwhile, were among the works of charity thematized in the vitae of numerous medieval saints. Sumptuous textiles were sent as resplendent gifts to religious institutions or, like patterned silk textiles from Byzantium, circulated through diplomatic gift exchanges. Gifts of clothing were also distributed within the court as compensation in kind, which supported the structuralization and hierarchization of courtly society. Textile gifts could represent the donor. Especially in the case of clothing previously worn by its donor, the physical presence of the giver might have been woven into the materiality and form of the gifted garment.

The goal of this interdisciplinary conference is to situate the diversity and polysemy of such acts of symbolic communication into the broader context of medieval gift culture. The integration of anthropological and sociological models (Marcel Mauss, Bruno Latour) into an art historical approach allows for gifted artifacts to be taken seriously as independent entities within the giving process as a socially generative form of communication. The conference therefore investigates the relationship between human actors and the “agency” of gifts themselves, exploring how the dynamics of reciprocity and its attendant obligations were charged both visually and materially.


Programme :

Donnerstag, 3.11.16

10.00 Uhr : Tanja Michalsky: Begrüßung
10.15 Uhr : Christiane Elster (Rom)/Stephanie Luther (Paris): Introduction – Towards an Unpacking of the Medieval Textile Gift
11.00 Uhr : Kaffeepause

Materiality and Agency I
(Moderation: Christiane Elster)

11.30 Uhr : Alžběta Filipová (Brno/Lausanne): The Holy Network. The place of textile in early relic circulation
12.15 Uhr : Jan Keupp (Münster): Der Stoff aus dem Geschenke sind. Zur Materialität der Gabe
13.00 Uhr : Mittagspause

Materiality and Agency II
(Moderation: Tristan Weddigen)

14.30 Uhr : Philine Helas (Rom): Kleiden durch Selbstentkleiden. Ein Exempel der Caritas in der italienischen Kunst zwischen 14. und 15. Jahrhundert
15.15 Uhr : Timothy McCall (Villanova, PA): Worn “nel mezzo del cuore”. Gifts of Luxury Clothing and Embodied Power in Fifteenth-Century Italy
16.00 Uhr : Kaffeepause

16.30 Uhr : Juliane von Fircks (Berlin/Mainz): Between the gift and the market: Imported silk fabrics on their way through Europe (1200-1400)
17.15 Uhr : Cecily Hilsdale (Montreal): Prestation and Proskynesis on Byzantine Silks

Freitag, 4.11.16

Political Gifts and Diplomacy I: Princes and Popes
(Moderation: Stephanie Luther)

9.15 Uhr : Kirsten Frieling (Bielefeld): Verschenkt, vererbt, verordnet. Textile Gaben an spätmittelalterlichen Fürstenhöfen
10.00 Uhr : Lisa Monnas (London): Politics and Patronage: Textile gifts by the Valois Dukes of Burgundy to Our Lady of Tournai
10.45 Uhr : Pippa Salonius (Canterbury, NZ): The Gifts of Kings and Popes: The Ascoli Piceno Cope, its Donors, and its Recipients
11.30 Uhr : Kaffeepause

Political Gifts and Diplomacy II: Byzantine Textiles
(Moderation: Cecily Hilsdale)

12.00 Uhr : Warren T. Woodfin (New York): The Emperor’s Old Clothes: Re-Gifting Byzantine Textiles in the Medieval West
12.45 Uhr : Silvia Leggio (Rom): Alleanze con la seta al tempo del Concilio di Lione (1274): Il Pallio di Michele VIII Paleologo per il Papa Gregorio X
13.30 Uhr : Mittagspause

Transformation and Re-interpretation I: Cathedral
(Moderation: Stefanie Seeberg)

15.00 Uhr : Tanja Kohwagner-Nikolai (Bamberg): Zwischen Memoria und Reliquienverehrung. Überlegungen zum Perspektivwechsel der sog. Kaisergewänder
15.45 Uhr : Patricia Strohmaier (Köln/Leipzig): Ornatus de Grecia – Zur Aneignung von Textilien aus der Schenkung Konrads von Krosigk in Halberstadt
16.30 Uhr : Kaffeepause

Transformation and Re-interpretation II: Cloister
(Moderation: Stefanie Seeberg)

17.00 Uhr : Jörg Richter (Hannover): Textilgeschenke, soziales Netzwerk und Memorialpraxis in niedersächsischen Klöstern
17.45 Uhr : Sabine Schrenk (Bonn): Die Textilreliquien in Sant’Ambrogio, Mailand: Funktionswandel und Präsentationsformen

Samstag, 5.11.16

(Moderation: Tanja Michalsky)

9.30 Uhr : Stefanie Seeberg (Köln)/Alexandra Gajewski (London): Ideal, Norm und Praxis – Textilschenkungen von Frauen im europäischen Mittelalter
10.15 Uhr : Anna Adashinskaya (Budapest): Textile Gifts of Church Female Donors in the Countries of Late-Byzantine Commonwealth
11.00 Uhr : Kaffeepause

11.30 Uhr : Eleonora Rava (St Andrews), Abiti e corredi nei testamenti pisani (secc. XIII-XIV)
12.15 Uhr : Sara Piccolo Paci (Florenz)/Alessio Palmieri-Marinoni (Sussex): Brunhilde’s Cingulum. Belts and Girdles as Gifts Throughout the Middle Ages

13.00 Uhr : Abschlussdiskussion

Source : Bibliotheca Hertziana

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