Religion, Ritual and Performance in the Renaissance Symposium

On Thursday and Friday, April 25 and 26, the AMAM will host a scholarly symposium related to the Religion, Ritual and Performance in the Renaissance exhibition, which presents important Renaissance paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the AMAM and the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG) collections. The symposium - free and open to the public - will be held in the museum's King Sculpture Court, and will last from 11am to 6:30pm on April 25, and from 9am to 5pm on April 26.

Presenters include Oberlin College faculty members from the Art, English, History and Musicology departments, three Oberlin College students who were selected via a competitive process, faculty from Case Western Reserve University, Washington & Lee University, Miami University of Ohio, and Ohio State University, along with staff from the AMAM, the YUAG, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Intermuseum Conservation Association. These two days promise to be exciting ones, and the public is warmly urged to attend. Presentations will range widely on topics related to medieval, Renaissance and baroque art, literature, history and music, as well as pilgrimage and religious practice.

The Allen Memorial Art Museum warmly thanks the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which provided funding for this symposium through the Yale University Art Gallery Collection-Sharing Initiative. Significant funding was also provided by the Friends of the Allen Memorial Art Museum and the Baldwin Fund of Oberlin College's Art Department.

Below is the schedule of talks for the Symposium. Please check back for any updates.

Thursday April 25th

Time Presenter Title
11:00 – 11:15 am Andria Derstine
John G. W. Cowles Director
Allen Memorial Art Museum


11:15 am – Noon

Laurence Kanter (OC ’76)
Chief Curator and Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of European Art
Yale University Art Gallery

Keynote, “On Connoisseurship”

Noon – 12:50pm

George Bent (OC ’85)
Sidney Gause Childress Professor in the Arts
Washington & Lee University

Family Values and Public Ritual in Late Medieval Florence

Noon - 12:50pm Elina Gertsman
Assistant Professor, Medieval Art
Case Western Reserve University
Ritual Openings
12:50 – 1:15 pm   Discussion
1:15 – 2:30 pm   Break for Lunch
2:30 - 3:45pm Erik Inglis (OC ’89)
Professor, Medieval Art History
Oberlin College
Late Medieval Pilgrims and Italian Renaissance Art:  Problems of Time and Space
2:30- 3:45pm Diana Navarrete (OC 2013)
Art History and Religion
Oberlin College Student
A Merging of Spheres:  The Use of Images in Books of Hours for Communal Orthopraxy
2:30- 3:45pm Robert Glass
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History
Oberlin College
Art and Ritual in Filarete’s Bronze Doors for St. Peter’s in Rome
3:45 – 4:00 pm   Break
4:00 – 5:15 pm Christian Kleinbub
Associate Professor, History of Art
The Ohio State University
Painting as Sacred Guarantor:  How a New Covenant is Established in Raphael’s Expulsion of Heliodorus
4:00 – 5:15 pm William Hood
Mildred C. Jay Professor of Art Emeritus
Oberlin College
Naked or Nude? Showing Saint Sebastian
4:00 – 5:15 pm David J. Rothenberg
Associate Professor, Musicology
Case Western Reserve University
Musical Mourning, Commemoration, and the Introit Requiem aeternam in Motets, ca. 1500
5:15 – 6:00 pm   Discussion
6:00 – 6:30 pm Introduction by Sara Green (OC 2012)
AMAM Curatorial Assistant

Performance by Members of the Collegium Musicum Oberliniense under the direction of Steven Plank, Professor of Musicology, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Music from manuscript leaves in the Allen Memorial Art Museum collection on view in the exhibition Private Prayer, Public Performance:  Religious Books of the Later Middle Ages and Renaissance

Friday, April 26th

Time Presenter Title
8:45 am   AMAM Doors Open
9:00 – 10:15 am Andrea Chevalier
Senior Paintings Conservator
ICA-Art Conservation

Andria Derstine
John G. W. Cowles Director
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
Giampietrino’s Cleopatra in the Allen Memorial Art Museum:  Conservation, Technical Examination and Research
9:00 – 10:15 am Jon Seydl
The Paul J. and Edith Ingalls Vignos, Jr. Curator of European Paintings and Sculpture (1500-1800) Cleveland Museum of Art
Alessandro Cesati’s Cameo of Philip II and the Performance of Renaissance Carved Gems
9:00 – 10:15 am Ellen Wurtzel
A ssistant Professor of History
Oberlin College
“Lieux cloz et fermez”: Religious Performance, Ritual Display and Order Within City Walls in the Sixteenth Century
10:15 – 10:30 am   Break
10:30 – 11:45 am Christina Neilson
Assistant Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History
Oberlin College
Hidden Messages and Pious Making in Early Modern Art
10:30 – 11:45 am Edward Olszewski
Emeritus Professor of Art History
Case Western Reserve University
How the Non-Liturgical Altarpiece Communicated Undefined Doctrine
10:30 – 11:45 am Lisa Yanofsky (OC 2013)
Art History and Vocal Performance
Oberlin College & Conservatory Student
Performing Childhood:  Gender and Youth in Sofonisba Anguissola’s Double Portrait of a Boy and Girl of the Attavanti Family
11:45 – 12:15 pm   Discussion
12:15 – 1:15 pm   Break for lunch
1:15 – 2:30 pm Andrew Casper
Assistant Professor, Art History
Miami University of Ohio
Ritual, Performativity, and the Shroud of Turin as Devotional Image in Early Modern Italy
1:15 – 2:30 pm Wendy Beth Hyman
Assistant Professor of English
Oberlin College
The Visual Rhetoric of Carpe Diem
1:15 – 2:30 pm Cora Henry (OC 2013)
Oberlin College Student
Relics, Saints, and Seductions in Romeo and Juliet and Venus and Adonis
2:30 – 2:45 pm   Break
2:45 – 4:00 pm Erin Benay
Assistant Professor, Southern Renaissance and Baroque Art
Case Western Reserve University
To Have and To Hold:  Possessing the Sacred in the Late Renaissance
2:45 – 4:00 pm Steven Plank
Andrew B. Meldrum Professor of Musicology Oberlin Conservatory of Music
[Uno] Miracolo da far stupire: Transformation and Il Guercino's St. Francis in Ecstasy with St. Benedict
2:45 – 4:00 pm Nicholas Jones
Professor of English
Oberlin College
Broken Rituals, Rediscovered Bonds:  Fragmentation and Restitution in the Allen’s Renaissance Exhibition
4:00 – 5:00 pm   Discussion
5:00 – 7:00 pm   Reception
8:00 pm   Collegium Musicum Oberliniense Concert, Fairchild Chapel


Click here to download a PDF document of the Symposium schedule