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David Ganz
will be coming to speak at the Seminar in Comparative Medieval Material Culture on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, from 6 to 7:30pm. His talk is entitled “‘And his raiment began shining, exceeding white as snow’: Investments in the Transfiguration.”


David Ganz is Professor of Medieval Art at the University of Zürich. After studying Art History, Philosophy, and Archeology, he was a Doctoral Fellow in Art History at the Bibliotheca Hertziana. He earned his PhD from the University of Hamburg in 2000, and from 2000 to 2005 he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Young Researcher Group “Cultural history and theology of the Image in Christianity,” headed by Thomas Lentes at the University of Muenster. In 2006 he did his Habilitation at the University of Konstanz, and from 2006 to 2007 he taught as a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Bochum and Jena. In 2007 he was awarded a Heisenberg Fellowship by the German Research Foundation, and from 2010 to 2013 he taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Basel and at the University of Heidelberg. His research focuses on pictorial narrative, on the representation of visions, on pictures in the plural, and on clothing as metaphor. His publications include Buch-Gewänder: Prachteinbände im Mittelalter (Berlin: Reimer 2013), Medien der Offenbarung: Visiondarstellungen im Mittelalter (Berlin: Reimer 2008), and Barocke Bilderbauten: Erzählung, Institution und Illusion (Petersberg: Imhof 2003).

At Bard Graduate Center, Ganz will explore the metaphor of (in)vestment as a key for the materiality of medieval treasure objects. The point of departure is the role of garments in the transfiguration of Christ, the most prominent theophany in the gospels. Especially in Mark’s account, the gaze of the witnesses of this event is attracted by a metamorphosis of Christ’s clothes which begin “shining, exceeding white as snow, so as no fuller can white them.” A case study will show how the representation of this story became a place for staging and rethinking issues of materiality in different artistic media.


RSVP is required.