Theses (Art History and Visual Studies)

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Formerly theses from the Department of History in Art


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    From Daʿwa to State: Castles and the Formation of the Nizari Ismaʿili State in Quhistan, Iran
    (2022-12-22) Yeganehfarzand, Seyedhamed; Milwright, Marcus
    The present research concerns the network of Nizari Ismaʿili castles and the concept of Nizari Ismaʿili state in Iran during the so-called Alamut period (1090-1256). The research discusses various roles of the castles in the Nizari Ismaʿili state in the course of that period. Focusing on the Quhistan region, one of the major Nizari Ismaʿili territories in the northeast of Iran, the dissertation provides a detailed architectural study of 13 castles in the region. The treatment of the castles in the research, however, moves beyond the study of the castles as isolated defensive structures. Through a detailed examination of the architectural remains of the castles and the available primary sources, the research discusses several other non-defensive roles that the castles played during the Alamut period. The castles were an important component of the Nizari Ismaʿili offensive expansionist strategy; they were used as residences for the garrisons and the Ismaʿili elite; they were the centers of Nizari Ismaʿili intellectual activities; and they had symbolic significance during that period. In addition, the analysis of the distribution of the castles in Quhistan suggests that the Nizari Ismaʿilis consciously used their castles as means of territorial control. These roles were not fixed in the castles and would have changed over time depending on the political situation and the extent of the stability of the Nizari Ismaʿili power in each region. This multidimensional character of the castles supports the complex nature of the Nizari Ismaʿili presence in their territories and the notion of statehood of the Nizari Ismaʿili polity during the Alamut period.
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    "Dames Amazon," "Nobles Chevaliers," and Imaginary Worlds: Text-Image in King René d'Anjou's Book Production
    (2022-10-03) Keating, Françoise; Harding, Catherine
    This thesis looks at the court of Anjou-Provence’s book production, under the guidance of King René d’Anjou, during the decades of the 1440’s and ‘50s. It examines four literary works of which three were authored by the prince, namely, "Le Livre des tournois," "Le Mortifiement de vaine plaisance" and "Le Livre du Cœur d’amour épris," and an anonymous translation into French of Boccaccio’s "Teseida delle Nozze d’Emilia", entitled "Le Livre de Thezeo." In this thesis, I argue that these four works, although they emerge as separate events, connect ideologically and iconographically, highlighting a set of ideas that redefines nobility for the French Early Renaissance. Applying a complex combination of approaches, my theoretical framework combines translation, emotions and worldmaking theories. My model reveals King René’s vision of gendered roles and his refined sense of true nobility that make his court’s cultural identity stand out among that of comparable French courts of the day. It also outlines René’s close working relationship with his illustrator Barthélemy d’Eyck. The structure based on the four case studies outlines aspects of the debates on love and courtly culture that developed at René’s court. Chapter One discusses the distinctiveness of the Angevin-Provençal court’s reception of Italian and antique cultures and its importance as a continuum from the Latin translations in the Parisian humanist circles in the 1400s. Chapter Two examines "La Théséïde," the only fully illustrated manuscript of the translation into French of Boccaccio’s "Teseida delle Nozze d’Emilia," analysing the central focus on Emilia as the “Dame Amaczon.” Pursuing the work’s re-envisioning of gendered roles through emotional communities, Chapter Three explores the transformation of two warriors into “nobles chevaliers” in anticipation of René’s standardisation of noble knightly values in his "Livre des tournois." In view of the prince’s age when he started his literary career, Chapter Four questions the role that religion played in his vision of masculinity and unveils the portrait of the contemplative knight in René’s "Mortifiement de vaine plaisance." The heart-centred narrative connects with the quest of the secular heart in his "Livre du Cœur d’amour épris" in Chapter Five. It reveals the knight Cuer’s re-envisioned quest through imaginary lands and its unexpected conclusion as King René’s notion of true nobility refined by spiritual love, for men and women of the Early Renaissance. In the conclusion, the cross-study of these four books highlights their symbiotic working dynamic, and the talent of Barthélemy d’Eyck, that brought together the impressive Angevin-Provençal cultural production emerging within King René’s close circles, on the eve of the French Renaissance.
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    Thinking in Lines and Circles: Geometric Script Patterns and Visualization of Knowledge in Medieval Islamicate Societies (1100–1250 AD)
    (2022-08-25) Kazani, Zahra; Milwright, Marcus
    What do we see when we look at writing? In addition to the verbal messages conveyed by the written words, visual dimensions of script are powerful tools that hold semantic value. This dissertation focuses on one such visual element—the arrangement of written words into geometric shapes or patterns in the context of medieval Islamicate societies (1100–1250 AD)—to uncover its meanings. The dissertation offers a primary case study of the Kitāb al-diryāq (Book of Antidotes, 595 AH/1199 AD, BnF arabe 2964), an illuminated and illustrated manuscript with a variety of geometric patterns created using Arabic script. By examining a broad range of materials (scientific manuscripts, magical objects, and architectural decoration) across Late Antiquity and the medieval period, this heuristic study argues that the arrangement of script in geometric patterns was a vital medium of visualizing knowledge and transmitting knowledge—the form not only carrying cultural meanings but also shaping the reception of verbal messages. Magic is one form of knowledge that is particularly fruitful for examining the function of the geometric script patterns in general, and of the Kitāb al-diryāq in particular. This study traces the contexts in which the geometric script patterns appear, the cultural practices associated with them, and the medieval worldviews in which the patterns circulated. In considering these factors, the study argues that the combination of shape and script is embedded with knowledge that reflects the medieval scientific, magical, and popular imagination.
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    Board games and paper dolls: playing with age and masculinity in the late eighteenth- to early nineteenth-century English domestic interior
    (2021-09-01) Zajac, Linda P.; Campbell, Erin J.
    In the late eighteenth- to early nineteenth-century English domestic interior, games mediated and influenced the experience of age and masculinity. Games embodied, reflected, and shaped culture. Games united education, entertainment, and players’ imaginations inside the formative social environment of the home. The domestic interior was the catalyst that facilitated the agency of games. I explore the representation of age and masculinity in miniature images of boys, youth, and men in games and the agency of games as they interacted with players. I use three intersecting lenses: how people experience miniature objects; social interactions in domestic spaces; and the ability of an ordinary belonging to influence perceptions, ideas, and behaviour. In two case studies, I argue that games were serious cognitive technologies with agency that mediated and shaped players’ understanding of age and masculinity. In case one, I investigate the visuality, materiality, and experience of playing the didactic board game The New Game of Human Life (1790). The game consists of a battle between vice and virtue that males meet throughout the life stages. In case two, I analyze a series of five sets of paper dolls and their books published by Samuel and Joseph Fuller between 1810 and 1816. The male paper doll-book is an intermedial product that encourages players to imagine and act out adventures. In both cases, I argue games were active cognitive technologies that communicated with players. Games were visual and material culture that fashioned masculine identity. Games played in the domestic interior were communicative media designed to shape players’ ideas about masculine identity and their behaviour.
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    The merchant's moral eye: money, merchants, and the visualization of morality in Trecento Italy
    (2021-06-22) Pollick, Brian A.; Harding, Catherine
    My dissertation is a study of how merchants in Trecento Italy used the imagery they commissioned as a form of moral self-representation and as a practical tool in their pursuit of eternal life in heaven. The study is grounded in the theoretical framework of Michael Baxandall’s concept of the “period eye,” that is, the belief that “social facts lead to the development of distinctive visual skills and habits.” (Baxandall, 1988) A primary social fact affecting medieval merchants was their long association in Christian culture with the individual and societal evils related to the pursuit of money and wealth—the sin of avarice. This linkage was expressed across the entire range of medieval cultural expression, in texts, sermons, and imagery. The challenge for merchants, therefore, was to publicly demonstrate that they earned their money ethically and legally, that they led a morally sound life, and that they used a portion of their money for the common good, especially in caring for the poor. The commissioning and public/semi-public display of imagery thus became a way of portraying a merchant’s moral identity as a worthy civic and Christian citizen, with all of the temporal and spiritual benefits that might produce. In order to better understand how such imagery served these objectives, I have developed an analytical framework I call the Merchant’s Moral Eye. This framework consists of eight primary dimensions that I believe were fundamental to the formation of merchants’ moral beliefs and behaviours during this period. These dimensions are: 1. Purgatory 2. Medieval Spaces 3. Christian Symbolism 4. Obligation & Reciprocity 5. The Virtues & Vices 6. Fama 7. Hospitality 8. Coats of Arms Collectively, these interlaced, multidisciplinary dimensions provide a systematic approach to produce the robust contextualisation needed to explore why, and how, merchants used imagery to achieve their objectives. However, while this study’s focus is solely on the moral and salvific functions of this imagery, it needs to be remembered that the same imagery also served other more worldly objectives, be they social, economic, or political. As an analytical tool this framework enables three fundamental functions with respect to the underlying motives, meanings, and uses of merchant-commissioned art in Trecento Italy: - an assessment of the feasibility of existing interpretations - the enhancement or nuancing of existing interpretations - the identification and explication of wholly new interpretations To demonstrate the effectiveness of the framework in achieving the above, I have selected, as case studies, three merchants in three different locations, whose artistic commissions spanned the entire Trecento. These individuals and their imaged artifacts are: 1. Enrico Scrovegni of Padua and the Arena Chapel, decorated by Giotto 1303-5. 2. Domenico Lenzi of Florence and his illuminated manuscript, Lo Specchio umano (The Mirror of Humanity), produced c. 1340; 3. Francesco Datini of Prato and the Palazzo Datini, decorated in the 1390s. These individuals represent a cross-section of Trecento Italian merchants in terms of status, wealth, and public profile. These merchants and their commissioned artworks are discussed in detail using the framework dimensions as modes of enquiry to show how this imagery supported their self-representation as honest merchants and dutiful Christians, and generated the prayers and other suffrages they assumed they needed to eventually get to Heaven. In all three case studies there were significant findings that fulfilled each of the analytical functions noted above, thereby confirming the utility of the Merchant’s Moral Eye Analytical Framework as an effective methodological approach.
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    Interrogating the dead: re-assessing the cultural identities of the Samma Dynasty (1351-1522) at the necropolis of Makli, Sindh (Pakistan)
    (2021-01-12) Akhtar, Munazzah; Milwright, Marcus
    During the preliminary phase of analytical discourse on South Asia’s medieval history, the scholarship rigidly demarcated the material cultures of the pre-Islamic societies from those of the Muslim communities that were only introduced to the region’s landscapes once the Islamic political rule was established. This was done to simplify the process of examining the regional, religious, ethnic, political, and cultural disparities in the Indian subcontinent’s medieval milieu. Consequently, the exceedingly broad categories of “Muslim” and “Hindu” were conceived to portray the identities of South Asian societies and cultures. However, these categories remain in use even in the current art-historical scholarship that shows a tendency to classify the historical artifacts based on either geographic or sectarian identities. To that end, the sites developed by Muslim rulers are termed as “Islamic/Muslim,” and Hindu temples as “Indian.” Such simplistic classifications, which identify the social and material cultures with singular monolithic identities, overlook the dynamics of intercultural and interfaith interactions between the diverse co-existing communities of South Asian regions that played an active role in shaping those cultures. The Samma dynastic architecture in the vast necropolis of Makli – a UNESCO world heritage site located in the city Thatta (in present-day Sindh province of Pakistan) – presents an opportunity to examine this key methodological issue. Modern scholars classify Samma architecture under the polarities such as “Sindhi,” “Islamic,” and “Indo-Islamic.” The present research challenges these classifications to demonstrate that the overall artistic program of Samma architecture does not reflect any single culture, religion or region. In fact, it evinces a hybridization of style and character, and hence, transcends the standard categorization of architectural artifacts from South Asia. Therefore, by actively engaging with the architecture, decoration, and epigraphy, this study allows for the formulation of important conclusions on the meanings attached to the Samma dynastic architecture, which was a key medium of presenting their social, religious, political and cultural programs. Additionally, this study demonstrates where Samma monuments fit within the broader categories of artistic productions from South Asia as well as the wider Islamic world. Hence, where this research augments the overly broad and simplified classifications, it also aims to produce a more meaningful analytical framework that moves beyond visual analysis, iconography, and typology.
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    The Toronto New Wave, post-anarchist cinema theory, and the progressive apocalypse
    (2019-09-06) Christopher, David; McLarty, Lianne; Antliff, Allan
    A group of Canadian films emerged in the 1980s and 1990s that has come to be known as the “Toronto New Wave” (TNW). Most scholarship regarding this “wave” considers the films usually identified with it not as an ideologically or aesthetically cohesive ensemble, but as a disparate mélange engendered by the merely coincidental socio-political, economic, and government policy circumstances that developed at the beginning of the 1980s. Critics who engage more robustly with the cinematic content of these films often make reference to a new global sensibility of the filmmakers and almost universally discuss the theme of urban social alienation that permeates the film narratives. However, the motif of urban social alienation is always understood by these critics as merely a theme in these films. These critics overlook or openly reject the possibility of what anarchist cultural studies refers to as philosophical praxis, an active effort to intervene in cultural meaning-making and to change dominant ideologies. Moreover, the urban alienation theme upon which so many of the TNW narratives trade seems to map very specifically onto more progressive understandings of the term “apocalypse” in the project of philosophical praxis. In the following dissertation, I will argue against the commonly held view that the films of the TNW do not share any significant aesthetic or political unity. In doing so, I will make a case for the marriage of theories of apocalypse with both anarchist cultural philosophy and perception-based psychoanalytical theory as a means to understand a selection of films from within the TNW that I argue are particularly “anarchist-apocalyptic” in their cultural and political work.
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    A dialogue between friends and foes: transcultural interactions in Ilkhanid capital cities (1256-1335 AD)
    (2019-09-03) Hatef Naiemi, Atri; Milwright, Marcus
    The period following the Mongol conquest of vast areas of Eurasia in the thirteenth century, the so-called Pax Mongolica, witnessed the emergence of a new visual language in Persian art and architecture. Various Islamic and non-Islamic visual traditions that permeated the whole body of the arts of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Iran played a pivotal role in the formation of the hybrid style characterizing the art and architecture of the Ilkhanid period (1256-1335 AD). Along with the reconstruction of the cities that had been extensively destroyed during the Mongol attack on Iran, the Ilkhans (Mongol rulers) founded a number of new settlements. Both literary and archaeological evidence testifies that the foundation and development of urban centers was one of the primary objectives of the Ilkhans throughout their rule over Iran. Putting emphasis on Ilkhanid urban architecture, this project focuses on two major cities in the northwest of Iran (Ghazaniyya and Sultaniyya) in order to show how the architectural and urban features of the cities were determined through the complex interaction of local and global forces. Challenging the stereotypes that looked at the steppe people as destroyers of civilizations in earlier scholarship, this study argues that the Ilkhanid city as a physical entity manifests the dialogue between Perso-Islamic sedentary concepts and Mongolian nomadic traditions.
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    Reflections of a past era: the photography collection of Ernest William Albert Crocker l 908-1946
    (2019-06-26) Peel, Ellen Louise; Micklewright, Nancy
    There are many archival photography collections that are forgotten or ignored because of their lack of accompanying written documentation. Despite this, these collections have tremendous value which can be discovered through alternate methods of research and analysis. This thesis provides an example of how to approach and research such collections by examining the work of Ernest William Albert Crocker, whose business, Trio Photograph and Supply Company, operated in Victoria from 1908-1946. It presents an introductory review of Crocker's life and work from what he left behind in the Trio Photograph Collection which consists of over 20,000 images. This thesis examines his photographs from both documentary and aesthetic perspectives and constructs a comparison between Crocker's work and that of a contemporary Vancouver photographer, Leonard Frank (1870-1944). It establishes an appreciation for the significance of the Trio Photograph Collection within the contexts of social and photo-history and lays the foundation from which any future research of Crocker' s photographs can begin.
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    The Miqat of al-Juhfa: a historical and archaeological study
    (2018-08-15) Alsubaie, Mohammad; Milwright, Marcus
    The Mīqāt of al-Juhfa is located in the west of Saudi Arabia about 187 km northwest of the Holy City of Mecca. Al-Juhfa is one of the five fixed places called Mawāqīt, or entry stations to the pilgrimage (Hajj). These Mawāqīt were designated during the early Islamic period for any pilgrim comes through them with the intention of Hajj. During the early Abbasid period, al-Juhfa was the largest occupied Mīqāt in the Islamic world. This study focuses primarily on historical and archaeological aspects of the Mīqāt of al-Juhfa during the early Islamic period. To illustrate these aspects, the study analyzed many primary sources that mention al-Juhfa in order to reconstruct the historical and cultural development of the site and to establish the extent to which it functions as an urban center. The study benefited from important information provided by these sources in this respect, such as the chronology of the site, its strategic location, topographical features, the nature of the landscape at different times, the function of specific objects, human activities that took place at the site, and factors that led to its prosperity and decline. The study also undertook a fieldwork at al-Juhfa site—primarily archaeological survey and excavation. This fieldwork enabled us to test the results of the textual analysis and to reveal other characteristics of the site (such as its cultural role, urban elements, planning and defences, architectural functions, building technique, building material, and other features). Moreover, the study analyzed both the formal and technical qualities of all archaeological discoveries on the site, comparing them with their analogues at other early Islamic sites in the Middle East. The study derived many results that clearly indicate the great importance of al-Juhfa as an urban center characterized by several urban functions during the early Abbasid period in the late of 8th century until its importance began to decline gradually between the second half of 11th century and the first half of 12th century. This chronology is supported by both written sources and the archaeological evidence. Several architectural elements and a collection of archaeological finds of different pieces of pottery, ceramic, glass, worked stone, and metal were discovered at al-Juhfa. These discoveries provide us with more information about the extent of mutual influence and active interaction between various cultures during pre-Islamic period as well as the high cultural and commercial level achieved by al-Juhfa and the relationship it had with other Islamic sites in the Middle East.
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    Talking with Antigone
    (2018-07-25) Schraefel, Monica M. C.; Wadge, W.W.
    This project considers the role of conversation in writing by women, specifically, the role of conversational spaces for women’s construction of self within the symbolic. It does this through a consideration of narrative structures, modeled by Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. It also points towards how these concerns are situated within the latest textual media, the Internet. It then presents a model of textual reproduction and representation for online texts informed by the preceding discussions. Women in patriarchy can never presume a listener. Consequently, women’s textual productions very often foreground issues of “am I being heard, can I speak?” The lack of consideration in Eurocentric male texts/theories of whether or not a speaker is heard is significant in its absence from any canonical literary theoretical or critical model. By foregrounding conversation both as an issue specific to women’s writing, and as a narrative structure particular to women’s writing, this work provides a new site for pedagogical and critical consideration of writing by women. The chapters in this dissertation based on Wuthering Heights and To the Lighthouse read these novels from that site. Based on the above conversational theory, this thesis provides an historical context and feminist perspective through which to read women’s relationship to the Net as another textual medium in which women are foregrounding issues around voice, who can be heard and how. Historically women have been erased from contributions to computing. This erasure continues in patterns of text based identity construction in online interaction, where, again, the silencing of women’s voices is of critical moment. To address this erasure, this dissertation presents the constructions of a new text form, ConTexts (conversational texts), which brings feminist perspectives to engineering practices. Conversational texts differ from standard writing practice and current web document delivery in two ways. First, ConTexts are polylithic rather than monolithic. That is, a document is constructed only as the product of an exchange with a user/reader which results in the combination of appropriate text chunks into a new document. Current document models simply present prefabricated, monolithic units written for a single audience. Second, ConTexts incorporate intensional and AI programming, allowing the text delivery system to become involved in the exchange with the user to process user input and to create dynamic content (different versions of the text) which results from that exchange. Revising the presentation of texts as interactive and polylithic rather than prefabricated and monolithic is an insight located in this dissertation, derived from feminist study of conversation as narrative strategy. The versioning of texts according to user requests is situated and described within intensional logic programming and demand driven dataflow models. Intensional logic provides a framework and semantics for describing versions in terms of a version space and possible worlds. In this dissertation, Intensional HTML is used to demonstrate a preliminary form of conversational texts because it allows versions of texts to be delivered through standard web browsers. That conversation is a formative issue in writing by women is a unique contribution of this thesis to feminist literary practice and is the organizing principle of this dissertation. That real conversation is only an issue in women's writing is the main insight of this work. This dissertation presents the blending of feminist theory with feminist engineering practice. Its observations and implementation designs point to new directions in both text reading and creating practices.
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    Pictorial cycles of non-biblical saints: the evidence of the 8th century mural cycles in Rome
    (2018-07-10) Jessop, Lesley Patricia; Osborne, John
    Due to the influence of the Greek-speaking immigrants who flocked into the city of Rome over the course of the 7th and 8th centuries, there was an explosion of interest in the cults of saints and their relics, one manifestation of which was the efflorescence in the depiction of saints' lives on the church walls. Five of these cycles survive--albeit in various stages of preservation--and portray the martyrdoms of Quiricus and Julitta, Erasmus, the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, Callixtus, and Paul and Anastasius. As the largest surviving body of early hagiographical cycles, the paintings serve as the standard of comparison for later works, but they have yet to be fully studied in the art historical literature. The aim of this dissertation is to help correct this oversight, and to examine the cycles, in the context of their cultural and architectural settings, in order to come to an understanding of how early hagiographical cycles functioned. The dissertation begins with an examination of the evidence for pre-8th century cycles, Biblical and non-Biblical, extant and non-extant, produced in any medium in Byzantium or the West. The aim is to discover patterns, either in the make-up of the cycles, or the contexts for their use. The paintings in Rome are then carefully analysed, both in terms of their content and archaeological context, in combination with the surviving hagiographical, liturgical, and historical texts. The conclusion reached is that non-Biblical hagiographical cycles first gained popularity in the East, where they were most commonly found decorating either the tombs of saints, or their reliquary shrines. Their appearance in Rome can be closely linked to the influence of the Greek-speaking immigrants, to the cults of saints and relics that they promulgated, and to the special veneration accorded the non-Biblical saint by members of the lay population. The cycles most commonly decorate chapels, or chapel-like spaces, that are located in diaconiae, the charitable institutions founded in Rome at the end of the 7th century, and whose administration was largely the responsibility of the lay community. Furthermore, as several of the cycles seem to decorate private chapels, perhaps provided to the wealthy laity in return for their donations to the church, they emerge as the early ancestors of the works found in the private chapels, decorated for rich benefactors, which proliferate in the late Middle Ages.
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    The "new woman" in fin-de-siécle art: Frances and Margaret MacDonald
    (2018-06-26) Helland, Janice Valerie; Tumasonis, Elizabeth
    Scottish artists Margaret and Frances Macdonald produced their most innovative art during the last decade of the nineteenth century. They received their training at the Glasgow School of Art and became known for their contribution to "the Glasgow Style," Scotland's answer to Continental Art nouveau and Symbolism. Although they inherited their visual vocabulary from the male-dominated language of the fin-de-siècle, they produced representations of women that differed from those made by their male colleagues. I suggest that these representations were informed by the female experience and that they must be understood as such if we, as historians, are to discuss their art. Like many other women artists from this period, the Macdonalds relied heavily upon so-called feminine imagery. This could be flower painting, "dainty" landscapes, pictures of children or pictures of "lovely" women. The Macdonalds strayed from conventional meaning, however, and made pictures of women that, while retaining the mystery of symbolism, presented the viewer with contextually accurate representations of women who were bound and restricted by a society that had not yet allowed women the vote. I suggest that these representations be considered in the light of recent theoretical developments in feminist literary criticism and feminist film theory which give credence to women as producers of culture while remaining aware that culture is a patriarchal construction. My contention is that if we can comprehend the patriarchal construct of woman during the fin-de-siècle then we may be able to understand how the Macdonalds (and other women like them) strayed from this representation and made their own images (perhaps in their own likeness or at least in the likeness of their situation). Knowledge about how women's experience was integrated into the visual language may lead us to a greater understanding of that experience and its subsequent production as art and, in addition, may bring about a greater valuation of women's experience and its representation.
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    The early medieval chapel: decoration, form and function. A study of chapels in Italy and Istria in the period between 313 and 741 AD
    (2018-06-26) Mackie, Gillian Vallance; Osborne, John
    The relationship between decoration, architectural form, and function is investigated in depth in those early chapels of Italy and Istria which retain significant amounts of their decorative programmes. These include the Archbishops' chapel and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, S. Vittore in Ciel d'Oro, Milan, the St. Matrona chapel at S. Prisco near S. Maria di Capua Vetere, Campania, and the chapels at the Lateran Baptistery, Rome. In addition, the chapels are set into a broader context through a survey of the many chapels which survive in less good condition, or are known only from archaeological and literary sources. The decorative programme of each chapel is analysed for iconographic content. Themes reflect not only the basic vocabulary of the earliest Christian art, but more precisely, the hopes and aspirations of the chapel's builder. The vast majority of the surviving chapels were built as memorial or funerary chapels in connection with the cult of the dead, and expressed the soul's need for assistance in the attainment of heaven. The funerary cult was intimately connected with that of the martyrs, whose bodies and relics also rested in the chapels, and whose power in favour of those who were interred beside them was invoked in art in the chapels' decorative programmes. Literary evidence confirmed that chapels had also existed in the dwellings of the lay aristocracy, though none had survived. On the other hand, clergy-house oratories were represented not only by the chapel of the Archbishops of Ravenna, but by the shrines of the two saints John at the Lateran Baptistery, Rome, which were identified as papal oratories adjacent to the home of the early popes at the Lateran Palace. The total loss of the domestic chapels of the laiety slanted the conclusions of the study not only towards clergy house oratories, but towards funerary and memorial structures, of which a greater number survived. It was found that the latter illustrate the chronological sequence: martyr's memoria, funerary chapel, martyrium. Some examples served more than one of these functions in turn, and possibly the full sequence. Analysis of the iconographic programmes showed that themes and functions were closely interrelated. Even so, there were more similarities than differences in the iconographic programmes of chapels which clearly served different functions. Most importantly, three-dimensional decorative schemes were common to all types of chapel. In these compositions, the chapel's interior space represented a microcosm of the universe. These schemes were judged to be ancestral to the decorative schemes typical of centrally-planned churches in the Middle Byzantine period. Annexed chapels formed the main subject of the study, and all those mentioned so far are of this type. However, the origin of chapels within the perimeters of church buildings, which occurred late in the period of study, is briefly discussed in the final chapter, where oratories, sacristies, and chapels inside auxiliary buildings are distinguished from one another, and from the annexed chapels which had previously been standard.
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    Paradigms of collecting from ethnography to documenting the individual artists: Grace Nicholson and the art history of Native Nortwestern California basketry during the Arts and Crafts period, 1880-1930
    (2018-05-31) Cadge, Catie Anne; Wyatt, Victoria
    During the Arts and Crafts period, from about 1880 to 1930, popular perceptions of Native Americans and their basketry emphasized pristine cultures prior to the effects of contact with Europeans. Pasadena basketry collector and dealer Grace Nicholson used an ethnographic approach, along with mass-marketing, when selling Native Northwestern California baskets in order to cater to Arts and Crafts period collectors' expectations of traditional Indian baskets. In addition, Nicholson expanded her collecting methods to include documenting individual weavers in the field, though she rarely used this documentation as a sales strategy. Before Nicholson began traveling and collecting baskets directly from Native American weavers in Northwestern California, basketry from this region was almost always collected or sold as the work of an anonymous weaver. This approach—what I refer to as the ethnographic paradigm in the dissertation—featured the traditional, pre-contact context of the basketry, but not the documentation of individual innovation. Grace Nicholson started a new paradigm or model for collecting Native Northwestern California basketry through her select documentation of individual artists. Nicholson's documentation of Elizabeth Hickox, master weaver of Northwestern California baskets during the Arts and Crafts period, has been thoroughly addressed in Art Historical scholarship. I argue that Nicholson also recorded information about other Northwestern California weavers from Hickox's generation, such as Yurok weaver Nellie Cooper. In this dissertation, I demonstrate that the Nicholson archival collection, along with other important archival sources, can be used by researchers to help identify lesser-known Northwestern California weavers from the turn of the 20th century today.
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    Rubens and the Stoic Baroque: Classical Stoic Ethics, Rhetoric, and Natural Philosophy in Rubens’s Style
    (2018-01-18) Nutting, Catherine M.; Campbell, Erin J.
    Rubens is known as a painter; he should also be defined as an art theorist. Following Robert Williams’ theory that Early Modern art became philosophical, I believe that style can connote art theoretical interests and philosophical models, and that in Rubens’s case, these included the classical Stoic. While it would be possible to trace Rubens’s commitment to Stoicism in his subject matter, I investigate it in his style, taking a Baxandalian approach to inferential criticism. I focus on Rubens’s formal choices, his varied brushwork, and his ability to create a vibrant picture plane. My study is divided into chapters on Ethics, Logic, and Physics. In Chapter One I treat Stoic moral philosophy as an influence in the design of Rubens’s paintings, consider similarities between classical and Early Modern interest in viewer/reader response, and argue that Baroque artists could use style to avoid dogma while targeting viewers’ personal transformation. In Chapter Two I focus on Rhetoric, a section of the Stoic philosophy of Logic. Stoic Logic privileged truth: that is, it centred on investigating existing reality. As such, Stoic rhetorical theory and the classical literature influenced by it promoted a style that is complex and nuanced. I relate this to the Early Modern interest in copia, arguing that this includes Rubens’s painterly style which, apropos copia, should be better termed the Abundant Style. In Chapter Three I explore similarities between Stoic Natural Philosophy and the Early Modern artistic interest in the unified visual field. The Stoics defined the natural world as eternally moving and mixing; with force fields, energy, and elements in constant relationships of cause/effect. The Stoic concept of natural sympathy was a notion of material/energetic interrelatedness in which the world was seen as a living body, and the divine inhered in matter. I consider ways that these classical Stoic concepts of transformation, realism, and vivified matter might be discerned in Rubens’s style.
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    The Simurgh: representations and meaning in Persian painting
    (2019-12-08) Nabavi Nejad, Behrang; Milwright, Marcus; Welch, Anthony
    The fantastic Simurgh, the mythical bird of ancient Persia, has maintained a significant presence in Persian culture. The visual and textual references to this bird manifest a mysterious and complex symbolism shaped around this super-natural creature in Persian literary sources. The Simurgh evolves from a myth, to the symbol of royalty, to the guardian of Persian kingdom, and finally to represent the Divine. This promotion and transformation is facilitated through the idea of divine protection and kingship inherited from ancient Persia, transforming the representations of the Simurgh into powerful images. The intertextual analysis of the Avestan and Pahlavi references to the Simurgh, and their comparison with the characteristics of the Simurgh in the Shāhnāma, allows this study to trace the amalgamation of these sources in the Persian national epics. Through a process of literary creativity, Firdausi combines the characteristics of the two mythical birds, Saēna and Vāreghna, to shape the Simurgh in the Shāhnāma. The transformation of ancient Persian myths into Islamic Persia continues in the works of Islamic philosophers such as Suhrawardi who, once again, synthetized the mythical bird of pre-Islamic Persia with its recent embodiment in the Shāhnāma. In this phase of transformation and in the work of Suhrawardi’s contemporary, ʿAttar, the Simurgh was raised to the symbol of the Divine. It is in the light of these literary sources from the genres of epic literature and religious writings that the representations of the Simurgh are contextualized in this study, and the formation of three iconographic prototypes for the bird are proposed. In addition, the presence of the royal, divine, and Iranian glory (farr-i īzadī, farr-i Īrānī), sought for by both rulers and individuals in the Persian system of though, charges the representations of the Simurgh in the illustrated manuscripts of the Shāhnāma produced between the fourteenth and the seventeenth-century, in the realm of Persian painting in particular, as well as in Iranian visual vocabulary, in general.
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    The force of culture : Vincent Massey and Canadian sovereignty
    (2018-01-05) Finlay, Karen A.; Moore, Mavor; Thomas, Christopher A.
    In Canada, a country defined by a certain cultural reticence, Vincent Massey (1887–1967) was that remarkable entity, a champion of culture. Through a wide range of initiatives in the arts and education, he expressed his determination to frame a cultural model of Canada. Earlier conceptions of the country's make-up had tended to be narratives about the march from colony to self-government, or were predicated on environmental and economic factors. On the contrary, Massey held that its spiritual foundations, traditions, values, and aspirations rendered Canada a community and a nation. True Canadian sovereignty meant developing a “fully-rounded national life”. He argued for the force of culture over what he called the force of geography. The cultural model that Massey advanced had particular features. Its bedrock was a faith in education, specifically, a liberal arts education, as distinct from a strictly technical or professional training. Culture and education were virtual synonyms in early twentieth century Canada. It was widely understood that the beneficiary of a liberal arts training exhibited independence of mind, served excellence over self-interest, displayed flexibility and tolerance, and, in turn, contributed to societal harmony. Culture, in this sense, was the source of community. Virtually inseparable from culture was citizenship; the idea of character, the goal of a liberal arts education, was central to both. Individual character, which was esteemed for its allegiance to the greater good, and, perhaps paradoxically, its resistance to conformity and standardization, was analogized with “national character and citizenship”, a refrain of the 1920s. To speak of national character was not only to affirm the moral nature of Canada's citizenry, but to prize its uniqueness and diversity in the face of the forces of cultural homogenization seen to be emanating from the United States. Culture was the cultivation of citizenship, and, as such, the foundation of national sovereignty. The fine arts, slow to gain acceptance in Canada generally, only belatedly secured a foothold in this scheme. Steeped in Methodism, Massey never adopted an art-for-arts-sake doctrine. He came to understand, however, that the arts, without being moralizing, could serve a moral agenda: the constructing of national community. In this, they, too, were agents of culture. Influenced by British models of state-supported art, Massey increasingly aligned culture with the federal government, but distinguished firmly between state control and state intervention. The substitution of excellence and diversity as new moral imperatives in the construction of the state, in place of authority and political exigency, was the key to his recommendation of government-supported culture and art (Massey Report, 1951). The principle he sought to honour, pertaining deeply to the nature of humanism in Canada, was community without uniformity.
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    The Heiltsuk case : museums, collectors, inventories
    (2017-10-19) Black, Martha; Wyatt, Victoria
    The art of the Heiltsuk of the central coast of British Columbia is not well known to non-aboriginal people and has been frequently misrepresented in the literature on the Northwest Coast. Because the majority of historical art from Bella Bella and other Heiltsuk communities is now in museums, ideas about Heiltsuk art and culture have been shaped largely by the museum collections from this region. While it is recognized that museums impose new organizations and narratives on the objects they display and store, how this happens is often less clear. To elucidate the process, the current methodological study analyses in detail the Heiltsuk collections of four major museums: the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution), the American Museum of Natural History, the Royal British Columbia Museum, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and makes reference to Heiltsuk art and artifacts in other collections. Close examination of the composition and documentation of, and motivations for, these collections reveals both the diverse inventories used to create the museum-structured representation of Heiltsuk culture and the processes of their accumulation. The dissimilar agendas, knowledge, and opportunities of the artifact collectors influence museums' portrayals of Heiltsuk culture. The study deals only with Heiltsuk collections but its findings and methodologies are applicable to other Northwest Coast collections.