Choir Stalls and their Workshops: Proceedings of the Misericordia International Colloquium 2016
Misericordia International was founded by Elaine C. Block as an association dedicated to the study of choir stalls and their relation to other artistic manifestations during the Middle Ages, and the dissemination of research.
From its beginnings, Misericordia International has promoted a bi-annual international conference as a place of scientific exchange among members of the research community interested in this topic from a multidisciplinary perspective.
The most recent conference was held from 23 to 26 June 2016 at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University in Greifswald, Germany. The theme of the conference was the workshop context of medieval choir stalls in its broadest sense. Where the iconography of choir stalls has enjoyed a lot of attention from researchers, the process and circumstances of the making of these complex objects have often been rather neglected. Choir stalls were not produced by an individual artist, but were created by a group of craftsmen. This factor raises all kinds of questions. The conference in Greifswald covered an obvious need for research and therefore included much hitherto unknown research material and additional first results based on initial research. In addition to questions about substantive and economic mechanisms of the production of choir stalls, the conference dealt with basic knowledge of craftsmanship.
This publication presents the papers held at the conference and is divided into five thematic parts, namely Workshop practices; Early modern choir stalls – Traditions or restart?; Stalls of stone – A forgotten furniture; Travelling craftsmen; and Group of works.
Anja Seliger has a journeyman’s certificate and some years of professional experience as a cabinet maker. She then studied Art history and Archeology at the Humboldt University in Berlin, where she worked as a Research Associate at the Cluster of Excellence from 2013 until 2017. Her main interest is the synthesis of craftsmanship, material studies and art in all its facets. She is currently a PhD student, and is writing a dissertation on the choir stalls of the medieval Mark Brandenburg in Eastern Germany, focussing on choir stalls in parish churches and their painted surfaces.
Willy Piron studied Art History at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where he has served as the Manager of the Centre for Art Historical Documentation in the Department of Art History since 2008. He has developed several art historical databases, including the STALLA-database on medieval choir stalls, and is currently the Secretary of Misericordia International.
"In the past, studies of choir stalls have emphasized issues of iconography, at times obscuring the fact that these are physical things. A strength of this volume—and the conference from which it originated—is its focus on broader issues of patronage and production. [...] [T]he volume is ... extremely useful and makes a solid, necessary contribution to the study of various aspects of European medieval stall-work."
Betsy Chunko-Dominguez Savannah College of Art and Design Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture, 6:3 (2018)
María Teresa Rodríguez Bote
Kaja von Cossart
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