December 5 Public Lecture "Caskets of Bones and Walls of Stone: the Saints in Western Medieval Art"
Lecture begins at 6:30 PM in the Abbott Lecture Hall; cash bar opens at 5 PM

Held in the Abbott Lecture Hall, this event is free to all. Guests wishing to view Word and Image: The Saint John’s Bible must obtain a ticket (special Thursday evening price $5 tickets for general public adults).

“Caskets of Bones and Walls of Stone: The Saints in Western Medieval Art” presented by Bridget Sandhoff, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art History, University of Nebraska, Omaha

In the European Middle Ages, the saints were integral figures in the lives of the Christian faithful. They were humans from all walks of life who performed extraordinary acts or were graced by God with supernatural abilities. As a result, the church elevated them to intercessors for the faith, defenders of the church, and role models of virtuous behavior. Moreover, during a time when war, disease, and political instability prevailed, the saints provided tangible help, both physical (e.g., relief from illness) and spiritual (e.g., expiation of sin). The belief in the praesentia (presence) and potentia (power) of saints helped promote pilgrimage in Western Europe. It is through this adoration that art production and church construction in the Europe (1000-1500 AD) flourished. This lecture explores the historical and visual tradition of the cult of the saints in the Western Middle Ages, focusing on specific saints and the artwork (e.g., reliquaries, sculptures, manuscript illuminations, and churches) that honored them.

BRIDGET SANDHOFF is an associate professor of Art History at the University of Nebraska Omaha. She is an expert in the art of classical antiquity (e.g., Etruria, Rome, Greece, Egypt, Aegean) and the art of the European Middle Ages. She has offered courses in medieval art at UNO, University of Texas at Tyler, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Knox College. Her areas of research in the medieval world include the cult of the saints, religious orders, female spirituality, and Gothic architecture.

What's pictured: Anonymous, Saint Catherine of Alexandria (Trampling Figure of King Maximinus), c. 1500; wood (oak); polychromed. Given in memory of Julia C. Morsman by her Family and Friends, 1974.2