Thursday, June 7, 2012

Treasures of the Victoria and Albert Museum

Other members of the course may soon be posting about their experiences this morning at the Victoria and Albert Museum -- each student was asked to find an artifact from the middle ages that reflected (or even endorsed, contradicted, or nuanced) what we've been reading about "traditional religion" in Eamon Duffy's now classic book The Stripping of the Altars.

For my part, the chance to return to the V&A was an opportunity to rediscover some of its treasures -- like a wonderful collection of medieval reliquaries, liturgical objects, illuminated manuscripts, and tapestries -- as well as to chance upon pieces I hadn't seen before. The photo below is of one of the latter, one of Leonardo da Vinci's famous notebooks. The V&A has five, all in Leonardo's classic mirrored handwriting.

Tomorrow we're off on our class excursion (pilgrimage?) to Canterbury, where we'll be visiting the head of St. Thomas More, the ruins of St. Augustine's Abbey, and Canterbury Cathedral. Onward!

Patrick Hornbeck

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