Distinguished Professor of Art History to give inaugural lecture

Thu, 03/28/2013


Kristi Henderson
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

LAWRENCE — Anne Hedeman, the Judith Harris Murphy Distinguished Professor of Art History at the University of Kansas, will present her inaugural lecture, “Imagining the Past: An Art Historian’s Journey,” at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 1, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union. The event is free and open to the public.

Hedeman is an internationally distinguished scholar of French 13th- to 15th-century illuminated manuscripts.

In her lecture, Hedeman will review her scholarly journey toward understanding the interaction of medieval vernacular texts and their images. She’ll suggest that artists, writers, patrons and readers of medieval illuminated manuscripts selectively constructed interpretations of history based on various moments in the life of the manuscript: the moment when the text was authored or translated; the moment when an illuminated manuscript containing it was made; or years later, the moment when it was removed from a library shelf and reread.

Hedeman will show examples of the complex interaction between the texts and images in a variety of manuscripts created in France between 1260 and the 1450s.

Before joining the Kress Department of Art History in August 2012, Hedeman was a professor of art history and medieval studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her 29-year career at Illinois, she won numerous teaching awards and was named a University Scholar for her outstanding research.  

A John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, she has written three books: “The Royal Image: The Illustrations of the ‘Grandes Chroniques de France,’ 1274-1422;” “Of Counselors and Kings: The Three Versions of Pierre Salmon’s ‘Dialogues;’” and “Translating the Past: Laurent de Premierfait and Boccaccio’s ‘De casibus.’” She co-curated an exhibition with Elizabeth Morrison at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, “Imagining the Past in France, 1250-1500.” Morrison and Hedeman were finalists for the Alfred H. Barr Award for Museum Scholarship in 2012 for the exhibition’s catalog.

Hedeman is also a fellow of the Medieval Academy and has been a recipient of three National Science Foundation grants for her work related to the digital humanities. She was editor of Gesta, the journal of the International Center of Medieval Studies.

Widely published in national and international venues, Hedeman has been invited to lecture on multiple occasions in England, France and the United States. Next fall she will give the Conway Lectures at the Medieval Institute, Notre Dame University.

The Department of Art History is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.

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