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Spring Semester 2018-19 Programs

Spring 2019 Events

“Santa María la Real: Origin, Splendor, Decline and Revival of a Monastery”

César del Valle Barreda
Coordinator, Museum for Romanesque Studies
Santa María Ia Real Foundation
Aguilar de Campóo, Spain

Watch the recording of this lecture from February 2019. 

Cesar del Valle BarredaIn the year 1169, Alfonso VIII, king of Castile, gave a small monastery located in Aguilar de Campóo, Spain, to the Canons Regular of Prémontré. By the end of the century, a far grander structure, Santa María la Real, had taken its place, reflecting emerging Gothic influences on the predominant Romanesque architecture of the day.

The fortunes of the abbey rose and fell in the centuries to follow until, in 1835, the government confiscated the monastery and forced the Norbertines to leave. The monastery was plundered and fell into ruin. In 1977, the Association of Friends of the Monastery was founded with the aim of restoring it. Given new life, today this former Norbertine abbey houses a high school, a museum for Romanesque studies and the Foundation of Santa María la Real.

César del Valle Barreda graduated from the University of Valladolid in 2003 with a degree in art history and received a Master in Assessment and Management of Historic-Artistic Heritage from the Universidad de Salamanca in 2004. He has worked at the Santa María la Real Foundation for Historical Heritage since 2005 and is currently coordinator of the ROM Museum: Romanesque and Territory.

Del Valle Barreda has written more than 12 books and chapters on Romanesque art, including “Todo el Románico de Burgos” and “Todo el Románico de Palencia,” as well as seven chapters on churches in the Enciclopedia del Románico.

“Exploring the Art of Manuscript and the Prémontré Cartulary”

Heather Wacha
Postdoctoral Fellow in Medieval Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Watch the recording of this lecture from February 2019. 

Heather-Wacha.jpgThe cartulary of the Abbey of Prémontré is well-known amongst scholars of the early history of the Premonstratensian Order, as well as those who study the economic, social and religious history of southern Picardy in the 12th and 13th centuries. While the cartulary holds important evidence of the abbey’s early history and holdings, its placement within a larger documentary culture at Prémontré has received relatively little attention. The wealth of surviving documents from the abbey's early years tells the story of a working scriptorium where the members produced and bound documents to record the everyday life and spiritual practices of the community. Prémontré had an active scriptorium throughout the 12th and 13th centuries, and as the recording of events and transactions slowly evolved over this time period, so to did the practices of the scriptorium at Prémontré.

As part of a larger documentary culture, and a larger documentary agenda, the cartulary takes center stage. By examining charters that survive from the abbey’s original archives prior to cartulary construction in the 1230s, and small surviving cartularies from three of Prémontré’s dependent houses that were likely produced after the cartulary, the scriptorium workspace appears to have been consistently in use for making administrative records, as well as a workplace that would have experienced more active moments when external events prompted the revision and production of several documents all at the same time. This lecture discusses the writing practices and processes at the abbey of Prémontré and sets the cartulary’s construction within the abbey’s larger documentary output that continued into at least the early 17th century.

Heather Wacha is a CLIR postdoctoral fellow in data curation for medieval studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on women’s economic activities during the 12th and 13th centuries in Picardy, France, and incorporates material evidence found in the documents she uses as primary sources, namely charters and cartularies.

She has published an article on the cartulary of the Abbey of Prémontré in essays on medieval studies (2015) and is currently working on a critical print/digital edition of the same cartulary. Her interest in manuscript studies adds an important dimension to her work with cartularies, especially their construction in scriptoria and medieval use in northern French abbeys and monasteries. Her studies in codicology and paleography have expanded those research interests to include a broad spectrum of medieval manuscripts.

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