“The Language Of Clothing In The Middle Ages”—Lecture and Gallery Talk

“The Language Of Clothing In The Middle Ages”
Friday, 18 November 2016, 3:00 P.M.
Pius XII Memorial Library, 2nd Floor Gallery

lengle-lecture-1The Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library—part of Special Collections in the Saint Louis University Libraries—announces a public lecture by Susan L’Engle, Assistant Director of the Vatican Film Library, to be held Friday, 18 November 2016, at 3:00 p.m. in Pius XII Memorial Library, 2nd floor gallery.

The lecture serves as a formal introduction and gallery talk to her recently installed exhibition in this space, “(Re)presenting the Medieval Body: The Role of Clothing and Textiles,” which opened on 12 October 2016 and runs through December 31.

The title of the lecture, “The Language of Clothing in the Middle Ages,” more specifically addresses the subject matter of the exhibition, referencing the many ways in which types of clothing and fabrics visually and materially define a person’s social class, economic status, and personal identity. Throughout the history of civilization the human body has been utilized to express concepts and beliefs and to illustrate current society’s rules, customs, and rituals. This takes place not only through gesture and posture (body language), but additionally through what individuals choose or are required to put on their bodies (for modesty, protection, or social identification).

lengle-lecture-2The lecture will explore the development of this societal expression in both the secular and ecclesiastical spheres, demonstrating how ideology, authority, power, and prestige have been constructed and proclaimed throughout the history of dress. Along the way traditions were established, particularly in professions, that dictated the use of specific garments for certain occasions—and which in fact persist up to the present day.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception. For further information, contact the Vatican Film Library at 314-977-3090, vfl@slu.edu.

Erica Lauriello

About Erica Lauriello

Erica Lauriello is a former staff member in the Vatican Film Library.

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