Volume VI, Issue 2 (Autumn 2017)

Welcome to the Autumn 2017 issue of Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art & Architecture. This issue is composed of a series of essays exploring the ways in which new technology is significantly changing the field of medieval art history. Technological advancements have always stood at the heart of modern art-historical study. Photography made it possible to record intricate architectural details; William Fox Talbot’s photograph of a Gothic revival oriel window from Lacock Abbey (1835) is one of the earliest examples of the medium. Mounted photographs, lantern slides, and eventually the universally used 2 x 2-inch slides that so many older art historians fondly remember replaced drawings, plaster casts, and prints. With the arrival of digital imagery in the 1990s, PowerPoint allowed for the presentation of multiple images alongside text, enhancing the traditional method of side-by-side slide instruction.

Now technology promises much more than just accurate reproduction and enhanced presentation. Advances in three-dimensional modeling, printing, and projection allow students to “walk through” and experience objects, churches, and cityscapes. Mapping software and geoinformatics have introduced layers of data that can be examined and modeled in a myriad of ways. X-rays, infrared reflectography, and fused imaging have uncovered hidden and buried treasures, and DNA is helping to date medieval manuscripts. These new technologies are expanding the research and teaching possibilities. They promise to transform how scholars, students, and the general public interact with, and understand, the original objects and monuments.

Of course, new technology is often heralded as field-changing before it slowly disappears, un-mourned and unremembered. What is different about these recent developments is the focus on student and public engagement. Increasingly more museums and libraries are digitizing and making available the raw data of their holdings. With new digital tools in hand, students are using this data to produce significant and original research. The public too is welcome and encouraged to download museum photographs, produce their own 3D models, and help transcribe archival documents. The underlying push is to make as much culture as possible as accessible as possible. We are truly in an exciting, transformative period of art history.

The articles in this issue offer rich perspectives on the value and implementation of new technologies for students and the public. Approaching these tools for the first time can be daunting. Mickey Abel argues that an instructor needs only a working knowledge, not a command, of every feature. With a firm understanding of course goals and possible outcomes, instructors can let the classroom be a laboratory where students learn and explore the digital tools on their own. In so doing, they develop a greater sense of autonomy and ownership in their work. LauraLee Brott serves as a testimonial to this approach. She learned the basics of ArcMap and GIS in a field school led by Abel, and is now developing her own research that combines cartography with art history. Alexandra Dodson and Kaelin Jewell each offer concrete examples of the ways in which medieval courses can incorporate 3D modeling and printing. For Dodson’s course on the materiality of medieval art, she utilized objects in the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Jewell, in her course on early medieval visual culture, focused on the virtual re-construction of ecclesiastical spaces in the Mediterranean basin. Alice Lynn McMichael offers some strategies for scholars—young and old—who would like to “do” digital historical research, but do not know where to begin. She argues that emphasizing methods over tools allows students and researchers to learn the ways in which their data can be analyzed across a variety of platforms and digital media.

The second group of articles addresses ways in which technology enhances research and public outreach. Anthony Masinton begins this section with a historical overview of the many tools available to us today. While he is optimistic of their utility, he recognizes some challenges — primarily in the proprietary nature of specific programs and thus their limited cross-platform application and long-term preservation. The next three articles offer case studies on implementing 3D technology. Louise Hampson shows how digitally modeling pilgrims’ routes and sightlines at Thomas Becket’s shrine at Canterbury Cathedral and making these models available on mobile apps can enrich the modern visitor’s experience. Robert Hawkins, in his study of the Norwich Cathedral cloister bosses, shows how photogrammetry has made it possible to visualize sculpture’s spatial function as well as its iconographic meaning. Amy Jeffs and Gabriel Byng argue that 3D modeling of pilgrim’s badges at the British Museum create a more authentic presentation of these objects. While the badges’ display in large vitrines at the museum make it impossible to appreciate the intricacies of the iconography, 3D modelling allows for a close and 360-degree view that more accurately simulates a medieval pilgrim’s experience of these personal items.

This issue also includes seven reviews of books by Heidi Gearhart, Elina Gertsman, Karen Pinto, Glyn Davies and Eleanor Townsend, and John Marciani. As an experiment, we asked two scholars from different fields to review the same book: Danielle Joyner, Painting the Hortus deliciarum: Medieval Women, Wisdom, and Time (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016). In our opinion, it worked out beautifully, for each emphasized aspects so distinct from the other. Let us know what you think about this. The Discoveries section features summaries by Clara Pinchbeck on 13 new archival and archaeological findings announced this year.

Our grateful appreciation and thanks for partial funding provided by Kenyon College. Programming and copy-editing: John Pepple; Artistic Advising: Karen Gerhart; and editorial assistance: Jean Blacker.

Sarah Blick, Editor & Brad Hostetler, Associate Editor

Feature Articles

Welcome to the Autumn 2017 issue of Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art & Architecture
Sarah Blick and Brad Hostetler

Teacher/Student: Technology as a Basis for Centrifugal Learning that “Goes Both Ways,” Part 1
Mickey Abel

Teacher/Student: Technology as a Basis for Centrifugal Learning that “Goes Both Ways,” Part 2
LauraLee Brott

Rock, Paper, Chisel, 3D Printer: Teaching Medieval Art with Technology
Alexandra Dodson

Digital Tools and the Pedagogy of Early Medieval Visual Culture
Kaelin Jewell

The Byzantine Scholar’s Digital Portfolio
A.L. McMichael

A Fortunate Alignment of the Spheres: Overcoming the Problems of Integrating 3d into Daily Practice
Anthony Masinton

Remembrance of Things Past: Recreating the Lost World of Medieval Pilgrimage to St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury and the Use of Digital Media in Public Access
Louise Hampson

Modeling the Norwich Cathedral Cloister Bosses: Sculpture, Photogrammetry and the Mobile Spectator
Robert Hawkins

The Digital Pilgrim Project: 3D Modeling and GIS Mapping Medieval Badges at the British Museum
Amy Jeffs and Gabriel Byng

Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Heidi C. Gearhart, Theophilus and the Theory and Practice of Medieval Art (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017)
Laurence Terrier Aliferis

BOOK REVIEW: Elina Gertsman, Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015)
Julia Perratore

BOOK REVIEW: Karen C. Pinto, Medieval Islamic Maps: An Exploration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016)
Marina Tolmacheva

BOOK REVIEW: Glyn Davies and Eleanor Townsend, eds., A Reservoir of Ideas: Essays in Honour of Paul Williamson (London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2017)
Katherine Sedovic

BOOK REVIEW: John Marciani, ed., Hans Memling: Portraiture, Piety, and a Reunited Altarpiece (London: The Flemish Research Centre for the Arts in the Burgundian Netherlands, Musea Brugge, and The Morgan Library & Museum, New York in association with Paul Holberton Publishing, 2016)
Jeanne Nuechterlein

DOUBLE BOOK REVIEW: Danielle Joyner, Painting the Hortus deliciarum: Medieval Women, Wisdom, and Time (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016)
Sarah Celentano

DOUBLE BOOK REVIEW: Danielle Joyner, Painting the Hortus deliciarum: Medieval Women, Wisdom, and Time (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016)
Nathaniel M. Campbell


Clara Pinchbeck