TitleArchitectural Sculpture as Cultural Informant
Date/TimeWednesday 6 July 2022: 16.30-18.00
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
Moderator/ChairXavier Dectot, Qatar Museums, Doha
Paper 1301-a Gurgling Gargoyles: Medieval Minds and Marginal Monsters of Laon Cathedral
(Language: English)
Abby Armstrong Check, Department of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Index Terms: Architecture - Religious; Art History - Sculpture
Paper 1301-b Architectural Ornament in Seljuk Asia Minor, 13th Century: Undermining the Borders of Art-Historical Categories
(Language: English)
Sophia Vassilopoulou, Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS), Freie Universität Berlin
Index Terms: Architecture - General; Art History - General; Historiography - Modern Scholarship; Islamic and Arabic Studies
Paper 1301-c Armenian Khachkar as a Conceptual and Iconographic Model for the Stone Relief Decorations in the Vladimir-Suzdal Area Churches
(Language: English)
Özlem Eren, Department of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Index Terms: Architecture - Religious; Art History - Sculpture; Byzantine Studies
AbstractPaper -a:
In our recent memory, gargoyles - perched in the high altitudes of the niches and borders of gothic churches - always linger. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen argues in Monster Culture (Seven Theses) that 'the monstrous body is pure culture' and reflects the historical weight and anxieties of the cultures that create them. This paper considers the central portal waterspout gargoyles of Laon Cathedral and how they reflect the interests of their argued patrons, the Canons of Laon. Representing the conquering of demons and the unknown through the harnessing of scholastic knowledge, these sculptures also act as signifiers of control over the 'other' - policing the borders of the church entrance, announcing the triumph of Christianity as a whole.

Paper -b:
The architecture of Asia Minor (Anatolia) during the Seljuk Era (1071-1307), with its numerous masterpieces, is often considered as a variation of Persian (Seljuk) Art or celebrated as the foundation-stone of Turkish (Ottoman) art. However, Anatolian architecture of this period actually challenges the boundaries of art historical and cultural categories, since it rather unites - and further develops - aesthetic elements of Persian, Byzantine, Armenian, Syrian, and even Hellenistic art. This paper aims to show how architecture was used in order to communicate different messages to a diverse audience in 13th-century Anatolian society - set together by people of different languages and religions - by assembling forms and materials from several cultural 'backgrounds' and creating new aesthetic concepts.

Paper -c:
Medieval Armenian architecture holds the seeds of early Christian cultural heritage that emanated to the lands of Byzantium, Caucasus, and Rus'. Armenian khachkars decorated the walls of churches or monumentally stood as focal points of worship. 12th-century Vladimir-Suzdal area churches are solid stone buildings with sculptural decorations on façades whose iconographic elements might have roots in centuries-old Armenian tradition. While cultural exchange does not necessarily involve direct transaction, monastic workshops, royal patronage, and dynastic marriages shape the polities by overlapping loyalties, multiple identities, and reach beyond borders.

Georgian Bagrationi / Armenian Bagratuni dynasty claim they descended from King David, in Life and Tale of the Bagratids (ca. 1030). Dynastic marriage of Yury Bogolyubsky to Queen Tamar of Georgia from the Bagrationi and Queen Tamar's patronage of Geghard Monastery in Armenia are significant in supporting artistic connections, especially in the depiction of King David on three façades of St Demetrios Church in Vladimir.