December 5, 2012 – Michael W. Cothren

Scheuer Family Professor of Humanities and Chair of the Department of Art, Swarthmore College

“Reflections on Modern and Postmodern Historiographies of Gothic Stained Glass”

In the aftermath of World War II, medieval stained-glass studies developed from a “modernist French school” to a “postmodern American school”, which came to dominate the field in the later twentieth century. Yet neither of these approaches has much impact on current views of the “meaning” of the medium and the paintings created in it during the height of Gothic architectural arts. This paper explores the reasons for the disconnect between earlier and current approaches to the field and muses about future directions in the study of medieval stained glass.