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Introduction to the study of materials in art history: Medieval ivory - Detailseite

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Veranstaltungsart Proseminar Veranstaltungsnummer 533612
Semester WiSe 2023/24 SWS 2
Rhythmus Moodle-Link  
Veranstaltungsstatus Freigegeben für Vorlesungsverzeichnis  Freigegeben  Sprache englisch
Belegungsfristen - Eine Belegung ist online erforderlich
Veranstaltungsformat Präsenz


Gruppe 1
Tag Zeit Rhythmus Dauer Raum Gebäude Raum-
Lehrperson Status Bemerkung fällt aus am Max. Teilnehmer/-innen
Do. 14:00 bis 16:00 wöch 19.10.2023 bis 15.02.2024  0.12 (Seminarraum)
Stockwerk: EG

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Georg47 Pergamonpalais - Georgenstraße 47 (GEO 47)

Außenbereich nutzbar Innenbereich nutzbar Barrierearmes WC vorhanden Barrierearme Anreise mit ÖPNV möglich
  findet statt     35
Gruppe 1:
Zur Zeit keine Belegung möglich

Zugeordnete Person
Zugeordnete Person Zuständigkeit
Calvarin, Juliette , PhD
Abschluss Studiengang LP Semester
Bachelor of Arts  Kunst- und Bildgeschichte Kernfach ( Vertiefung: kein LA; POVersion: 2014 )     -  
Bachelor of Arts  Kunst- und Bildgeschichte Zweitfach ( Vertiefung: kein LA; POVersion: 2014 )     -  
Zuordnung zu Einrichtungen
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte

How does material impact meaning? What does it mean that a given statue is carved from alabaster or cast in bronze? How is material reflected in the object’s form and appearance, and how was it perceived by contemporary audiences? What associations do contemporaries have with the material in itself?

Also: how do the specific techniques and trainings required to work in this material impact the product? Where does it come from, and how much labor is required before an artist, craftsperson, or workshop makes the work of art? How expensive is it? How does a model in one material change when translated to another?

These questions, and others like them, are fundamental to many aspects of art history. They can be crucial to the understanding of much modern and contemporary art, from Brancusi’s oak and limestone to Eva Hesse’s latex to Kara Walker’s sugary Subtlety (2014). Similar questions can be posed of historic art. Perhaps no other period of Western European art production was as full of different materials, from the luxurious to the cheap, as the Middle Ages: glass, copper, sandstone, clay, poplar, stucco, parchment, bone, linen, crystal, gold… the list of materials in use for the making of medieval works of art is nearly endless. This course provides an introduction to the study of materials by focusing on medieval art, notably on medieval art in Berlin collections.

As a case study on alternating weeks of the course, students will consider the use of elephant ivory in medieval art, exploring a variety of different approaches: from the incorporation of the natural sciences, to global economic history, to the iconography of materials. In parallel, students will consider an object in another material, and discuss how to apply the same approaches to these objects.

The seminar will be conducted in English. Reading knowledge of German is helpful but not necessary. Written work may be submitted in either English or German.


Tim Ingold, “Materials against Materiality,” Archaeological Dialogues 14, no. 1 (June 2007): 1–16, Alberto Saviello, Susanne Müller-Wolff, and Grit Keller, eds., Schrecklich schön: Elefant - Mensch - Elfenbein (München: Hirmer, 2021), exh. cat. Berlin; in English as Terrible Beauty: Elephant, human, ivory.




Keine Einordnung ins Vorlesungsverzeichnis vorhanden. Veranstaltung ist aus dem Semester WiSe 2023/24. Aktuelles Semester: SoSe 2024.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Unter den Linden 6 | D-10099 Berlin