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The Burke Collection of Italian Manuscript Paintings

May 6th, 2021

Filled with high quality paintings by notable Renaissance artists, the outstanding Burke Collection of Italian miniatures is the subject of this podcast.  Sandra Hindman sits down to discuss her work on the newly published Burke Collection catalogue with her co-editor Federica Toniolo and with Gaudenz Freuler. Federica Toniolo is Professor of the history of illuminated manuscripts and medieval art at the University of Padua and co-author of the recent catalogue of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, among many other important publications.  Gaudenz Freuler is Professor Emerita at the University of Zurich and is a world-renowned expert on Italian miniature painting from the twelfth to sixteenth century. The Burke Collection is on deposit in the Special Collections and University Archives of the Stanford Libraries in California. 

Did manuscript illuminators ever produce monumental paintings? What is the relationship between the history of monumental painting and illumination? What makes printed collection catalogues special, as opposed to digitized collections? Through a glimpse at highlights from the Burke Collection, you can learn more about the versatile artists of the Renaissance many of whom skillfully worked in both media – hence the title “The Burke Collection of Italian Manuscript Paintings.”  Our host and her guests share their knowledge, covering artists such as Fra Angelico, Zanobi Strozzi, Battista di Biagio Sanguigni, Cimabue, Tommaso da Modena, and Lorenzo Monaco. They discuss the literature, paleography, music, and context of the paintings in the Burke Collection, with emphasis on reconstructing illuminations and panel paintings to contribute a more complete image of the artistic culture of late Gothic and Renaissance Italy. 

Order your copy of The Burke Collection of Italian Manuscript Paintings from Paul Holberton Publishing.

Books of Hours Explained by Sandra Hindman with Richard Davies of AbeBooks

April 21st, 2021

They were the bestsellers of the Middle Ages. In this episode, our host Sandra Hindman of Les Enluminures sits down with Richard Davies of AbeBooks to discuss books of hours. Sandra explains the contours of the bestseller: what books of hours contained, who owned them, how they were decorated and the purpose they served. These paraliturgical manuscripts provided access to private, personalized devotion. Sandra Hindman discusses the materiality of these manuscripts, the painting process for illuminations, and some of the most famous historical stories involving books of hours.  

Published by Abe Books March 8, 2021

Christine de Pizan’s Workshop with Inès Villela-Petit

April 15th, 2021

Who is Christine de Pizan? Most know of her as a prolific medieval author, or at least know that she found a seat at Judy Chicago’s table. But how did she work and procure materials? Who worked for her and with her? How did she select her illuminators? Did she deal directly with the Queen? Find out with author and art historian Inès Villela-Petit and our host Sandra Hindman as they discuss the discoveries produced by Villela-Petit’s monograph on Christine de Pizan’s workshop, L'atelier de Christine de Pizan. They uncover the material processes behind the scenes of Christinian creation, the social dynamics of the atelier and Christine’s relationship with the royal court. Through author's drafts, pigment and parchment, traces and marks on the page, and the "stories" told in Christinian painting Inès Villela-Petit places Christine de Pizan's workshop in its material context. Today Sandra Hindman and Inès Villela-Petit explore International Gothic society, discussing Villela-Petit’s realization of an “ideal” Christinian manuscript–– from the purchase of the raw materials through the delivery of the manuscript to the Queen.

This conversation was recorded on Tuesday, April 14, 2021. 

How Did a Medievalist Become President and CEO of the Met?

March 3rd, 2021

Today host Sandra Hindman speaks with the president and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Daniel Weiss. How has his development as a scholar, medievalist and author affected his work as a businessman and CEO? What is the future of museums and institutions following this virtual shift to art in the age of COVID-19? Weiss gives listeners insight into the inner workings of the Met and remarks on topics related to his many publications, from his work on cultural interactions in the age of crusade to his two most recent unpublished projects. The first is a biographical work on a songwriter-poet turned soldier in the Vietnam era while the other is entitled Why the Museum Matters, a reflection on the history of the museum and its cultural relevance today. 

This engaging episode focuses on the practical side of maintaining life as a scholar and writer while working as CEO of one of the world’s most important museums. Daniel Weiss’s life is filled with valuable lessons for academics, administrators, businessmen, and art historians. 

This conversation was recorded on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

The Illuminated World Chronicle with Nina Rowe

January 14th, 2021

In this episode Dr. Nina Rowe discusses her latest book The Illuminated World Chronicle: Tales from the Late Medieval City with our host Sandra Hindman. They discuss some of the thrilling and often titillating stories found in World Chronicle manuscripts including the tale of the Devil on Noah’s Ark. Dr. Rowe has uncovered the deep connections these texts have to the cities in which they were produced, and has found evidence of racial and ethnic diversity, curiosity, and intermingling in these late medieval German cities. In many ways the World Chronicle was structured like a medieval version of the play Hamilton or even the recently released Netflix drama Bridgerton. All three take the material of history and robe it in the vernacular of the present day, exploring race and place through an historical lens. An innovative literary form in the 14th century, the World Chronicle transformed history into entertainment. 

This conversation was recorded on Tuesday January 12, 2021.

Masterpiece and the Future of Art Fairs

June 18th, 2020

Today our host Sandra Hindman, founder and President of Les Enluminures, checks in with Chairman of the Masterpiece Fair Philip Hewat-Jaboor from his residence in the Channel Islands. They discuss his early love of art and youthful career working for Sotheby’s, as well as the burning question on all of our minds: how will art fairs survive and thrive in the digital age? 

If you are curious about the origins of crafting an (entirely digital) art fair, this podcast will help guide you through the thought process Masterpiece has undergone in the past few months. Ultimately our host and Hewat-Jaboor agree that the power of face-to-face interaction will not disappear from the art world, but rather, is temporarily inaccessible. This temporary distance is, in fact, a good thing for the art market. It has forced art fairs to strengthen and diversify their digital offerings and brought innovative new technology into galleries. Find out more about this exciting time in art news, and mark your calendar for the opening of Masterpiece Online next week, launching for its Patron and Preview Day guests at 12pm BST on Monday June 22, and running through June 28, 2020!


This conversation was recorded on Thursday June 11, 2020.

Diana Scarisbrick: 50 years of Jewelry Expertise

June 2nd, 2020

Renowned jewelry historian Diana Scarisbrick discusses the origins of her interest in jewelry with host Sandra Hindman in this podcast recorded between London and Chicago. They discuss her early, formative interactions with rings through S. J. Philips, the antique jewelry shop founded in 1869. From there they move into a discussion of the importance of working directly with objects, Scarisbrick’s extensive writing on jewelry and the adventures she has had traveling the world to work with collectors, dealers, museums, and libraries, and even her work as a translator for the French Navy. Diana Scarisbrick remembers her interactions with Joan Evans, the eminent British historian of French and English medieval art, and muses on the influence of fiction and memoir on her contemplation of jewelry.  


This conversation was recorded on Wednesday May 27, 2020.

May Flowers at the Met Cloisters Gardens with Marc Montefusco, Managing Horticulturist

May 19th, 2020

Budding spring gardens and May flowers inspired our host Sandra Hindman to sit down with Marc Montefusco, the Managing Horticulturist of the Medieval Gardens at the Met Cloisters. In today’s conversation, they discuss the three gardens at the Cloisters (the Cuxa Cloister garden, the Bonnefont Cloister garden, and the Trie Cloister garden) the history of the gardens as an integral element of the Met Cloisters design, and the history of medieval gardening and medieval flora. Each garden’s plantings are based on information found in documents and works of art from the Middle Ages, and Marc Montefusco discusses the symbolic and scientific properties of plants, as well as the oft shifting fashion of cultured plants–– from medicinal use to revered flower and back to common weed. 

But how does one become a horticulturist at the Met? Find out answers to all of these topics and more in today’s episode!

Richard Davies of AbeBooks interviews Sandra Hindman: a glimpse at Les Enluminures’ owner and founder

April 9th, 2020

Richard Davies of AbeBooks, the pioneering ecommerce bookseller, interviews Sandra Hindman for Les Enluminures' first crossover podcast with Behind the Bookshelves.  His interesting profile of her includes questions and answers such as:  Does she think of herself as an academic, a bookseller, an art expert, or what?  When and why did she start her business? How does she find her material? What does medieval jewelry have to do with medieval manuscripts?  What are a few of her favorite things? What is a book of hours? And, finally, what is she reading?

This conversation was published by Abe Books April 7th. 

Jan van Eyck and Manuscript Illumination

March 23rd, 2020

Jan van Eyck has “never not been famous.” The most gifted Flemish court painter is the subject of today’s podcast, prompted by the recent exhibition Van Eyck: An Optical Revolution at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent. Host Sandra Hindman sits down with two leading scholars working on van Eyck; Dominique Vanwijnsberghe and Lieve de Kesel. They discuss both scholar’s contributions to the catalogue Van Eyck: An Optical Revolution, and cover some of the most pressing questions concerning the artist. Was van Eyck a manuscript illuminator as well as a painter? The answer rests within the Turin-Milan Hours. Were Flemish painters following van Eyck paying tribute to the great artist, or were they perhaps working from model books? And why does Jan van Eyck remain inimitable, why is there no “Eyckian” school of painting? Dominique Vanwijnsberghe and Lieve de Kesel provide answers to all of these questions and more in today’s episode with Sandra Hindman.

This conversation was recorded at TEFAF in Maastricht, on Saturday March 7, 2020.

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