Class visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts

Class visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts

Academic Year:
2023 - 2024 (June 1, 2023 through May 31, 2024)
Funding Requested:
Project Dates:
Overview of the Project:
This term I am offering a graduate seminar on the Virgin Mary, music, and the arts in late-medieval Europe (Musicology 506 sec. 1 / Musicology 641). Four students are taking the class at the 500 level, 3 at the 600 level. A class visit to the DIA would give students an opportunity to experience a number of Marian artworks from the medieval and renaissance eras that are closely related to the ones we have studied in class. Dr. Chassica Kirchhoff, a curator at the DIA, has kindly agreed to give a 2-hr tour of the Marian collection at the DIA on Dec. 2 from 1 to 3pm. I am applying for a small CRLT to cover for lunch at the DIA for the eight participants, plus parking and transportations costs for two cars.
Final Report Fields
Project Objectives:

In F23 I taught a graduate seminar on visual and musical representations of the Virgin Mary before ca. 1500. The visit to the the Detroit Institute of Arts aimed at giving students an opportunity to see the extensive Marian collection of the museum, under the guide of curator Chaz Kirchhoff. For most students, this was also the first time they had ever visited the DIA. All students in the class except one (a total of six) attended the event.

Project Achievements:

The visit lasted about 90 minutes, during which Dr. Kirchhoff led us through a number of Marian representations on different mediums (mostly from Northern Europe, Dr. Kirchhoff's expertise). During the visit, students could relate what we had learned in class to new Marian artworks, putting their knowledge to use. Dr. Kirchhoff's informed commentaries enabled students to place each piece in their cultural context and to understand the specific function for which the artworks were created. They occasionally asked questions and made comments. They were quite surprised by the richness and caliber of the DIA Marian collection. 

No, it was not designed to continue beyond the academic semester.
One colleague from my dept. (Musicology), Dr. Diane Oliva, joined us for the visit. She may share some of the photos and videos I took for her future classes on pre-modern music and culture.
Advice to your Colleagues:
The collaboration of the DIA and the support of CRLT were critical for the success of the event.