On 5-7th April 2018, project member Laura Slater attended the ‘Association for Art History’ annual conference in London, held at the Strand campus of King’s College London and The Courtauld Institute of Art. She gave a research presentation on ‘Devotional Soundscapes in the Psalter of Queen Philippa’ as part a thematic strand organised by Margit Thøfner and Tim Shephard. More excitingly, she contributed to a live musical event held at The Courtauld Gallery, organised by Dr Charlotte de Mille, founder and curator of the music programme at The Courtauld Gallery.
In her last post, Laura introduced us to the elaborate tombs of the Hastings family at St Mary’s priory Abergavenny, and showed what they can reveal about attitudes towards memorial and self-image amongst late-medieval nobles. This time, Laura turns her attention to other tombs at St Mary’s, and the difficulties of studying medieval art in Britain.
So what happened once you were married in the courts of medieval Europe? The Victorian idea of ‘separate spheres’- men dominating the public world of work and politics, women responsible for the private, domestic life of home and children- does not apply in the Middle Ages. We cannot make a clear distinction between the public and the private, or even between work and home.
In March, project team member Dr Laura Slater visited the Dr Williams’s Library in London. Her project looks at the cultural patronage of Queen Philippa of Hainault, wife of Edward III of England, focussing particularly on the manuscripts made for her personal religious devotions. One of these manuscripts, a psalter possibly made for Philippa on her arrival in England in 1327, is today part of the collections held by this fascinating library.