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Art History Students Present Research at Undergraduate Symposium

Published March 26, 2017

Students at Undergrad Research Symposium

The 17th Annual FSU Undergraduate Research Symposium was held March 28 in the Oglesby Union Ballroom, and Art History was well represented by three of our outstanding students. This annual interdisciplinary showcase gives undergraduate researchers the opportunity present their work to the university community with poster presentations. Below, a look at our students’ presentations:

Mya FriezeMya Frieze: “What the Kell? Unpacking the Origins of Ireland’s Greatest Treasure”

This research study examines the famed Book of Kells (Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 58) and the heavily debated theories of its dating and origin. Known for its incredible illuminations and text, the Books of Kells is a key piece of Early Christian Art. Many studies have been conducted on the decorative program of the Book, but most existing research on the origin of the Book of Kells is either brief or biased toward one major theory. This project gathers the existing research on the five major origin theories, and presents them together, examining the arguments and evidence presented by various scholars side-by-side. I have found the theory that the book was produced at the monastery of Iona and was later moved to the monastery at Kells is supported most fully by current evidence. Comparing the theories and the nature of the evidence reveals the differing methodologies from which propositions of origin have been made, and the gaps that exist in the current body of research. Given that any new, or re-examined, piece of evidence could shift another theory to the forefront, this project highlights the nature of the debate in this arena, providing a picture of where our understanding of the origin of the Book of Kells stands now. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kyle Killian

Nat Jones: “Shiga Prefecture War Shrine: An Artistic Intersection of Religion and Regime”

The Shiga Prefecture War Shrine, founded in 1876, is one of the 34 war shrines established during the Meiji Era, the most prominent of which is the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. The purpose of these shrines was to house the souls of soldiers who died during the Boshin War in service of the Emperor, who was regarded as divine and served as the commander-of-chief of the military. My primary goal is to provide an indepth physical analysis of the shrine’s architecture, layout, and art pieces. Since this particular shrine has never before been catalogued in English, my project will be valuable to non-Japanese speakers who are interested in the physical attributes of the Shiga Prefecture War Shrine. I aim to answer the following questions: How are the physical aspects of the Shiga Prefecture War Shrine unique from other war shrines? How have these aspects been altered over time and why?  How has the shrine’s meaning shifted over time? How does this history compare to other war shrines, including the Yasukuni Shrine? What are Japanese opinions on this historical controversy and how have they evolved? By answering such questions, my project will bring the Shiga Prefecture War Shrine into the realm of English art historical analysis. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lauren Weingarden

Chase Van TilburgChase Van Tilburg: “Documenting the Past in Three Dimensions”

This project will focus on taking the two-dimensional digital library – which stores the French stereo cards that document the architecture and Parisian life of old Paris, France prior to its demolition and rebuilding in the mid-19th century – evolve the two-dimensional database into a digital, three-dimensional format. This will make the cards available in a three-dimensional form online. First, I will finish documenting the remainder of the cards into the digital library. The documentation of these cards is important because of the educational value that they hold to historians and art historians. Then I will contact the Florida State University Morphometrics Lab, under the Department of Scientific Computing to discuss methods of rendering the cards into 3D. This is important because, in theory, this method of presentation will make the cards accessible to anyone anywhere in the country. The convenience in accessibility the digital three-dimensional library will deliver will increase the educational value of the stereo cards as researchers will no longer have to travel across the country to view them physically. Furthermore, I will consider methods of viewing the cards outside of needing the physical stereoscope. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lauren Weingarden

Chase Van Tilburg