Event Recap

Our first meeting of the quarter went particularly well. Unfortunately, Alexandra was unable to join us as she was feeling ill. She recommended Burt Westermeier (UNC Chapel Hill), who presented a chapter from his honors thesis about divergent perspectives toward medieval-era pilgrimages. You can follow him on twitter here.

We will be meeting on the 15th of April to present some crucial information for the quarter.


  • We’re meeting at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 in the History Reading Room—on the 6th floor of Bunche Hall. In the event of a deviation from this schedule, all changes will be broadcasted via our Facebook Group and via our Twitter.
  • We’re honored to have Alexandra Kaczenski (MA; Art History) present a chapter from her Oxford thesis: “And they clothed him with purple” – MS Harley 1892: Illumination and Personal Devotion in the Era of Printing.
  • Alexandra’s research inspired us to title her talk (see our flyer below): Printing & Color in Medieval Religion.
  • There will be free pizza and free soda!

A New Quarter

This Spring, Phi Alpha Theta at UCLA is reaching out to its members, history majors, and history lovers campus-wide! We have three goals that we’d like to accomplish:

  • Bring history to life on campus through animated professor talks and professional development meetings,
  • Build a safe and inclusive space for history majors to grow in friendship and knowledge, and
  • Bridge the gaps between the classroom, the workplace, and the community.

To that end, we’re broadening our outreach attempts, welcoming new bruins to join our honors society.

Also, our newly designed website has been launched with outreach in mind, as we’ve attempted to make its features as accessible as possible.

This Meeting (Wednesday @ 5 PM)

You won’t want to miss out on this talk…

Alexandra Kaczenski has an MA in Art History and will be presenting her Oxford MA thesis: “And they clothed him with purple” – MS Harley 1892: Illumination and Personal Devotion in the Era of Printing

She was nice enough to provide us with a detailed summary of her research.

Growing from the second chapter of my MA thesis on Harley 1892, an illuminated prayer book-psalter at the British Library, this paper investigates color as integral to late-medieval devotional practice and as an attractive trait of manuscript production set against the emergence of a new medium – printing. Harley 1892 is understudied, likely due to the multiple styles and hands responsible for its illuminations. The codex consists of two “original” halves: an unfinished Rouenais psalter (c.1490-1500) and Dutch Masters of the Dark Eyes prayer book (c.1500-1510). Sumptuous pigments unite these sections with inserted flyleaves and additional borders forming a complete text. Those folios (c.1490-1520) share a unique relationship to Martin Schongauer’s Passion of Christ series. His prints are faithfully replicated in size, but adapted to suit a painted medium. Discrepancies intentionally highlight Christ’s suffering and enhance drama. Vibrant blue, green, purple, blood red, and shining gold create a sense of luxury and vivacity throughout. Although once dismissed as garish, the manuscript’s coloring acts as a mnemonic device for worship. An examination of miniatures, such as the Arrest of Christ on f.47r where Christ is clothed in a purple robe, suggests objects were painted to emphasize importance or foreshadow. Our discussion is informed by theological literature on effective devotion through texts by Ludolph of Saxony or the Meditationes Vitae Christi, as well as from contemporary scholars like Mary Carruthers. Harley 1892 has great potential to add to the art-historical discourse on piety and the changing role of prints and manuscripts.


Flyer - Kaczenski

One thought on “Spring Quarter 2015: Our First Meeting

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