This past Thursday evening, September 13, Dr. Charlotte Stanford, Assistant Professor of Humanities at Brigham Young University, educated museum patrons about the original use of the alabaster sculptures in the museum’s current exhibition Object of Devotion: Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture from the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Her lecture, entitled Settings for Devotion: The Placement and Use of Late Medieval Alabaster Religious Carvings, helped patrons step into the medieval world in which the works were created.
Of the lecture, Museum Educator Lynda Palma relates, “Her fascinating narrative on the religious iconography of the late Middle Ages in England provided us with new insights about the hopes, fears, and aspirations of these medieval people.”
She continues, “Dr. Stanford’s presentation also helped us recognize the heroic stature of the people of this bygone age and their fervent devotion to God.”
Patrons came away “with greater admiration for the self-sacrifice and service of these humble citizens and a greater appreciation for their creative contribution to the arts of the Western world.”
Object of Devotion features sixty alabaster panels and free-standing figures, drawn from the world’s largest collection of medieval alabasters—the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Dramatic and intricately crafted, the exhibition’s sixty prime examples, including a complete set of panels from an altarpiece, have been carefully selected to represent the works produced by English alabaster sculptors spanning the years from 1380 through the 15th-century—the zenith of alabaster production—and continuing until the Reformation.
Listen to Stanford’s lecture here: Stanford_audio.
Learn more about Object of Devotion here.