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POSTPONED: John Hubbard Sturgis Eaton Endowed Lecture: The Cathedral and The City

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Reception to follow
Members only with no fee

This lecture has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.

POSTPONED: John Hubbard Sturgis Eaton Endowed Lecture: The Cathedral and The City

with Caroline Bruzelius

The terrible fire at Notre-Dame last April was a reminder that a cathedral is deeply connected to the urban fabric of a city, to its people, and – in the case of this particular cathedral –to the whole world.  This lecture will consider the impetus for cathedral building in medieval France and reflect on questions such as the following: what was the impetus driving these massive efforts? How was space made for enormous new buildings in the center of densely inhabited medieval cities?  How did a cathedral administration support the staggering costs of construction decade after decade? And how can we, in the present age, use these lessons from history to gain insight into very different notions of time and the expenditure of effort that the construction of a medieval cathedral entailed?

Caroline Bruzelius, Professor Emerita at Duke University, has published many books and articles on medieval architecture in France and Italy.  She has written on the abbey St.-Denis, medieval Naples, the architecture of women’s convents, and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris.  Her most recent book, Preaching, Building and Burying: Friars in the Medieval City, focused on how Franciscans and Dominicans transformed medieval cities through their social practices, which included creating piazzas for outdoor preaching and building massive convents with the funding provided by lay donors. 

From 1994 to 1998 Bruzelius was Director of the American Academy in Rome.  She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Medieval Academy of America, the Society of Antiquaries (London) and has received numerous other awards in the United States and abroad.

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Most programs held in the Bayard Henry Long Room on the Athenaeum's first floor are amplified and assistive listening devices are available for patron use.

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To request ASL interpretation services for any of the Athenaeum's programs, please contact Hannah Weisman at 617-720-7617 or weisman@bostonathenaeum.org.