Kate Dimitrova's Exciting Sabbatical Research On Luxury Textiles During the Papal Schism in Avig
Next year, Kate Dimitrova will continue to lead the conversation in luxury tapestries during the Papal Schism through the research and writing of her book manuscript, "Woven at the Crossroads of Culture: The Patronage, Consumption and Function of Luxury Textiles during the Papal Schism in Avignon (1378–1417)." Below, Kate Dimitrova describes her cutting-edge research in a Sabbatical Project Overview that she has shared with us!
Sabbatical Project Overview:
Over the course of the 2017–2018 academic year, I will research and advance the writing of my broadly–themed book manuscript, Woven at the Crossroads of Culture: The Patronage, Consumption and Function of Luxury Textiles during the Papal Schism in Avignon (1378–1417). Luxury textiles—a crucial component of visual culture during the European Middle Ages—commanded a key role in the spectacle of seeing and being seen, from differentiating socio–economic rank and religious affiliation to asserting political messages and military might. My investigation of this fascinating material will become the first in–depth study devoted to the exploitation of textiles at the papal, royal and ecclesiastical courts of Europe at the turn of the fifteenth century, with a focus on the papal curia in Avignon. I see the emergence of a truly exciting and multifaceted system of patronage and consumption that links prominent members of the French Valois dynasty with high–ranking Aragonese ecclesiastics. My research at the Vatican and in Paris will shed light on the heretofore unexamined use of tapestries in Avignon during the ecclesiastical-political crisis of the Papal Schism. My project will address larger questions concerning how these artistically intricate and materially precious objects were wielded to buttress political aspirations and legitimacy, reinforcing the power of their owners.