Document Type

Press Release

Publication Date



Harvard University scholar Jeffrey Hamburger shares his perspective on the debate of whether the Middle Ages produced “art works” or merely “images” in a William A. Chaney Lecture at Lawrence University.

Hamburger presents, “The Medieval Work of Art: Wherein the ‘Work’? Wherein the ‘Art’?,” Thursday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium.

A specialist in medieval art of the High and later Middle Ages, especially medieval manuscript illumination and iconography, Hamburger believes the argument need not be merely a choice between image vs. art, craft vs. artistry or manual vs. liberal arts. He will discuss some of the ways in which medieval images offer a statement over and against the texts, which claim to speak for them.

Focusing on some of the archetypal works of art of the Middle Ages — the temple, tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant — Hamburger will examine the ways in which those images could be used to address issues of authorship, authority and artistic invention.

A native of London, England, Hamburger joined the department of history of art and architecture at Harvard as a full professor in 2000. He previously taught at the University of Toronto and spent 11 years on the faculty at Oberlin College.

A Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, Hamburger is the author of five books, including the award-winning “Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent” and “The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany.”