On the occasion of his first career retrospective, noted architectural photographer Pedro E. Guerrero describes his work, his inspirations, and the lessons he has learned in an interview with Alexandra Lange, Adjunct Professor in the Program for Urban Design and Architecture Studies. Here is the interview as it appeared in the New York Times on April 4, 2012.
Professor Kathryn A. Smith’s forthcoming book highlighted on The British Library’s “Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog”13 Apr
On April 1st, the British Library posted a blog about the “discovery” of a long-lost medieval cookbook containing a recipe for grilled unicorn (!). The cookbook, complete with illustrations in its lower margins, was said to have been compiled by one Geoffrey Fule, a denizen of the kitchens of Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England (from 1328-69) (see http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/, 01 April 2012, Unicorn Cookbook Found at the British Library).
This hilarious “April Fool’s” blog-post actually contains photoshopped images from a richly illuminated English devotional manuscript known as the Taymouth Hours — the subject of Department of Art History professor Kathryn A. Smith’s new book, The Taymouth Hours: Stories and the Construction of the Self in Late Medieval England, forthcoming in May from The British Library Publications and the University of Toronto Press.
As the book’s jacket copy puts it, “This is the first major study of the Taymouth Hours, one of the most profusely illustrated devotional manuscripts made in 14th-century England. The most remarkable feature of the programme of the Taymouth Hours is found in its lower margins: here, episodes from the chivalric romances Beves of Hampton and Guy of Warwick, the morality tale known as Enyas and the Wild Man, and a series of vivid hunting vignettes are interleaved with stories from Scripture, hagiography, and sacred legend, forming a continual narrative ‘chain’ of nearly 380 images that are subtly synchronized with one another, with the major illumination, and with the religious and devotional texts they border.
Yet despite the richness of the manuscript’s visual programme, which includes four images of crowned women at prayer, the identity of the original intended royal recipient and the circumstances of the volume’s commission have until now remained an enigma. In this groundbreaking study, Kathryn A. Smith argues that the Taymouth Hours was commissioned in 1331 by Philippa of Hainault, queen of Edward III, for Edward’s sister, the thirteen-year old Eleanor of Woodstock, on the occasion of the princess’s betrothal to Reinald II of Guelders. Through a thorough analysis of the pictorial and textual contents, production, and complex design of the Taymouth Hours in relation to historical, political, religious, cultural and artistic developments in early 14th-century England and northern Europe, Smith offers an integrated understanding of the whole manuscript, one that explicates the ways in which the stories pictured in the Taymouth Hours shaped and affirmed the self of their royal female viewer.”
For their April 13th blogpost, the British Library has done on a feature on the Taymouth Hours that highlights key aspects of Professor Smith’s research; go to http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/, 13 April 2012, The Taymouth Hours.