During the later Middle Ages, England had a thriving art industry that produced religious alabaster sculptures in large numbers and exported them to virtually every country in Europe. Despite the success and scale of this industry, however, English alabasters have remained a neglected art form. Alabaster is a remarkable and attractive material for a sculptor to work with. It is a fine-grained, rare form of gypsum, superficially resembling marble, but with a softer, deeper translucent glow and a creamy, yellow-ochre finish. Because the material was soft and easy to carve, and was found in large quantities beneath the soil of the English Midlands, medieval English sculptors worked this mineral resource extensively from the late fourteenth century until the Reformation in the 1530s, creating lively, spirited reliefs for altarpieces and devotional figures. Object of Devotion examines the creation and use of medieval alabaster sculpture in England and throughout Europe and its lasting influence on the art historical canon. This book will appeal to museum audiences, art lovers, scholars, and researchers interested in medieval art and culture. Object of Devotion Exhibition Schedule: December 2, 2010 - January 16, 2011 Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida February 5 - May 15, 2011 Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine September 3 - November 13, 2011 Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas December 3, 2011 - February 12, 2012 Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey March 3 - May 13, 2012 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MichiganAbout the Author:
PAUL WILLIAMSON, Ph.D., FSA, is guest curator of the exhibition and head of the Department of Sculpture at the V&A Museum. FERGUS CANNAN, independent scholar, is associate curator of the exhibition. EAMON DUFFY is a professor, at Magdalene College, Cambridge. STEPHEN PERKINSON is a professor at Bowdoin College. MARK JONES is director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
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