vendredi, juin 06, 2008

About Stephen Murray: Space in the Romanesque Church

Columbia University Art History and Archaeology Professor Stephen Murray and his colleagues invite you to consider the Middle Ages through the intensive study and documentation of its architectural monuments in the heart of France: parish churches, abbeys, cathedrals, castles, manor houses, mills, granges, cities, and towns. The historic region of the Bourbonnais flourished in the eleventh and twelfth centuries immediately prior to the dramatic turn of history when France became France. The growing Web resource presents this unique research — chronicling the documentation of over 100 Romanesque structures through comprehensive digital photography and three-dimensional QuickTime nodes.

This online resource allows churches to be found alphabetically or spatially, by typing a name or by moving the cursor over the map where the churches are represented with accurate small-scale plans. This spatial experience is sustained in the graphic representation of the churches, all of which can be visited through QuickTime Virtual Reality panoramas. Also available are complete three-dimensional models for a dozen churches.

This project, developed with teams of student helpers in the framework of a summer field school, brings the student to the monument with new questions, new techniques and new enthusiasm. Conversely, it brings the monument to the student not as a single isolated edifice, but as part of much larger enterprise that can be understood as the production of space. It is only when we translate the old style-based thinking and language of art historians into new modes of representation that we can begin to grasp the complex relationships between architectural production and the creation of regional and supra-regional cultural identities.

About Stephen Murray
Stephen Murray was educated at Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1986 and currently serves as Director of the Media Center for Art History, Archaeology & Historic Preservation. His publications include books on the cathedrals of Amiens, Beauvais and Troyes; his current work is on medieval sermons, story-telling in Gothic, and the Romanesque architecture of the Bourbonnais. His field of teaching includes Romanesque and Gothic art, particularly involving the integrated understanding of art and architecture within a broader framework of economic and cultural history. He is currently engaged in projecting his cathedral studies through the electronic media using a combination of three-dimensional simulation; digital imaging and video.