Objects and Beliefs in Norway, ca. 800‒1535

Liturgical objects and beliefs in Norway through the medieval period and up to the beginning of the Reformation will be examined in a working group convened by Jón Viðar Sigurðsson and Noëlle Streeton from Autumn 2011

Discussions will take their inspiration from altarpieces and polychrome sculpture in the Kulturhistorisk Museum (KHM). The aim is to elaborate on a range of issues associated with, but not limited to, physicality and spiritual resonances; methods appropriate for the interdisciplinary study of medieval objects, fragments and documentary sources; and the historical circumstances surrounding the production, consumption, adaptation and conservation of objects from the medieval period.

These sessions are designed to foster interaction and collaboration between the three disciplines of IAKH, while also attracting those with similar research interests from across the university.

The initial meeting (17 August 2011) focussed on the methods and problems inherent to collaborative research – and specifically interdisciplinary studies that attempt to bridge disciplines based in the humanities and the physical sciences. Subsequent meetings will take their cue from objects, such as the Saint Ursula altarpiece from Slagen church in Tønsberg (C2124), which is currently in the KHM Paintings Conservation studio.

Diverse themes that are of especial interest to the organisers include, for instance, the original placement of objects within churches; devotion to Saint Ursula and the cult of saints in Norway; and the interpretation of formal qualities, colour and iconography in objects that have changed dramatically over time. However, it is hoped that participants will bring a wealth of differing perspectives. 

Meetings will be held roughly every 4 weeks, continuing through the spring term of 2012. One aim is to work toward developing a research council application for a project centred on the KHM late-medieval collection of altarpieces and polychrome sculpture.

Published Sep. 16, 2011 3:06 PM