The Medieval Cathedral as Museum
Lecture by Mary Malloy
Given at the McMullen Museum of Art on March 16, 2017
Abstract: During the Middle Ages, a pilgrimage provided the most popular and convenient form of travel for people with means. The destinations were cathedrals and their collections of relics, reliquaries, and, coincidentally, great works of art. Medieval cathedrals met many of the criteria we use today to define museums: they had collections, an audience (both local and foreign tourists), an educational agenda (Catholicism), were open to the public, and provided the foundation for a growing tourist economy in many cities.
Mary Malloy has been on the faculty of the Museum Studies Program at the Harvard Extension School since 2004. She earned her MA in American Studies at Boston College, and a PhD at Brown University. Click here to view her personal website.
Top Image: Tomb of John de Beauchamp (1330-89) and his wife Elizabeth in Worcester Cathedral – Photo by It’s No Game / Flickr