Eliza Garrison

Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture

Phone: work802.443.5296
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 4:30-6 p.m., and by appointment
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Eliza Garrison received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2005. Her research focuses on the art of the Carolingian and Ottonian Empires, the historiography of medieval art, and, most recently, on the importance of copies, copying, and simulacra in the Early Middle Ages.  She is also broadly interested in processes of political representation, theories of portraiture, and the incorporation of spolia into medieval art objects.  Her work has appeared in the Oxford Art Journal, Gesta, Peregrinations, and Postmedieval Forum.  A book drawn from her dissertation, Ottonian Imperial Art and Portraiture: The Artistic Patronage of Otto III and Henry II, appeared in 2012 with Ashgate.



Courses offered in the past four years.
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indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

HARC 0100 - Monuments/Ideas in Western Art      

Monuments and Ideas in Western Art
This course is an introduction to the study of Western art history through an investigation of selected art works, considered individually and in broader contexts. The course chronicles the evolution in painting, sculpture, and architecture of the western world. It is designed for those who wish to build a broad acquaintance with the major works and ideas of Western art in their historical settings and to develop tools for understanding these works of art as aesthetic objects and bearers of meaning for the societies, groups, or individuals that produced them. Registration priority will be given to first and second year students. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.


Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

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HARC 0214 - Northern Renaissance Art      

Northern Renaissance Art: The Rhetoric of the Real
This course will provide students with an overview of art objects created in a variety of media in Northern Europe between the 15th and 16th centuries. We will analyze the changing uses of art in cultures where people defined themselves and the depths of their piety in relation to their material wealth and social standing. During the last few weeks of the semester, the class will look at the emergence of genre painting and the representation of peasant life. We will consider how these phenomena were tied to the histories and careers of individual artists and their workshops. General questions will include: How does the convincing representation of "reality" make for a persuasive image? What are the benefits of fusing secular and religious subject matter? Is it valid to speak of a new artistic self-awareness? 3 hrs. lect.


Spring 2011, Spring 2013

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HARC 0216 - Medieval Art      

The Power of the Image in the Middle Ages
We live in a society saturated with images, but in the medieval period the average person encountered pictures only within a limited range of contexts. In this course we will examine architecture, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, and luxury artworks of the fifth through the 15th centuries in Europe and will consider the significances these works held for their original viewers. Key topics include: the image in Christian devotion, the role of the luxury arts in royal propaganda, the use of the image to crystallize stereotypes, and the status of the female figure as embodiment of positive and negative forces. 3 hrs. lect.


Fall 2010, Fall 2012

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HARC 0219 - Early Medieval &Romanesque Art      

Understanding Early Medieval and Romanesque Art: Seeing Ste. Foy
This course is an introduction to key artworks and architectural monuments made and built in Europe during the eighth through twelfth centuries. We will study such structures as Charlemagne's Palace Chapel and the reliquary statue of Ste. Foy at Conques to explore how these monuments were products of independent cultures that valued the creation of a visual fusion between the Judeo-Christian God and humankind. Likely lines of inquiry include: the persistence of a Classical ideal and its myriad adaptations; the coordination of art objects to specific locations; and, not least, the self-conscious staging of political and ecclesiastical power. 3 hrs lect.


Fall 2013

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HARC 0251 - Court, Castle, & Cathedral      

Court, Castle, and Cathedral: The Gothic World
This survey course will consider closely the major architectural monuments of the Gothic period in Western Europe, using them as a point of departure in a larger consideration of the artistic culture of this time. In looking at Gothic art and architecture, the class will ask some of the following questions: How were buildings embedded in the promotion of distinct political programs? How do liturgical considerations determine the shapes of buildings and sites? How can we track the emergence of a non-Christian "other" in art of all media? How can we characterize the visual and intellectual culture of "courtly love"? 3 hrs. lect.


Fall 2011, Spring 2014

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HARC 0300 - Colloquium in Art History      

Colloquium in Art History
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description.

Fall 2010

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HARC 0301 - Ways of Seeing      

Ways of Seeing
In this course we will focus on the various methods and theories that can enrich and deepen our understanding of art, architecture, and visual culture. In this course students will hone their analytical skills, both verbal and written, often with recourse to objects from the College Museum and the campus at large. In general, this seminar will develop students’ awareness of objects of culture broadly construed, and sharpen their understanding of the scope and intellectual history of the field. To be taken during the sophomore or junior year as a prerequisite for HARC 0710 and HARC 0711. 3 hrs. sem


Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Fall 2013

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HARC 0306 - Medieval Manuscripts      

Materiality and Meaning in Medieval Manuscripts
Before the invention of the printing press in the middle of the fifteenth century, all books were written by hand, a manual process that informed the term “manuscript.” The most luxurious of medieval manuscripts were illuminated with all manner of images, and these, along with the books themselves, were often understood as embodiments of divine wisdom. In this seminar we will consider medieval manuscripts as artworks and study the history of medieval manuscript illumination. Along the way, we will analyze the functions of various types of texts, learn about the rich relationships between text and image, consider the emergence of silent reading, and study the diverse audiences for medieval books. Over the course of the roughly one thousand years that we will cover in this course, we will see the book change from a mysterious receptacle of sacred wisdom to a commodity created for a mass market. 3 hrs. sem.


Fall 2014

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HARC 0510 - Advanced Studies      

Advanced Studies
Supervised independent work in art history. (Approval Required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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HARC 0540 - Independent Museum Studies      

Supervised Independent Work in Museum Studies
This practicum builds upon the Museum Assistants Program (MAP), the hands-on museum education program at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. In MAP, the Curator of Education trains students to conduct tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and of special exhibitions for audiences of peers, school groups, and the general public. Combining service learning with the opportunity to both support and learn more about the arts, students gain expertise in public speaking, art history, and public programming. To register for this course students have completed two semesters of MAP. The class will culminate with a public presentation on a museum-related topic evaluated by a faculty member of the Department of History of Art & Architecture. (Approval required; HARC 0100 or HARC 0102, and two semesters of MAP)

Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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HARC 0700 - Methods & Theories in Art Hist      

Methods and Theories in the History of Art
This seminar is designed for art history majors and is required of them. We will endeavor to reach a critical understanding of the range of methodologies employed in art historical research and writing, thereby preparing students to undertake their senior thesis work. 3 hrs. sem.

Fall 2011, Fall 2012

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HARC 0710 - Qualifying Paper Research Sem.      

Qualifying Paper Research Seminar
In this course students will conceive, undertake research, and plan the organization of their senior qualifying papers in art history or senior museum studies projects. Seminar discussions and workshops will focus on research strategies, conventions in art historical writing, project design, and public presentation skills. (HARC 0301; Approval Required) 3 hr. sem.

Winter 2011, Fall 2014

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HARC 0711 - Qualif. Paper/Resrch/Writing      

Qualifying Paper, Research, & Writing
This course is a continuation of HARC 0710 which consists of ongoing, supervised independent research with an advisor, plus organizing, writing, and presenting a qualifying paper, which will be due on a Friday, two weeks before the end of classes. (HARC 0301 and HARC 0710)

Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

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•    Article, “Otto III at Aachen” in special issue of Peregrinations devoted to Ottonian Art, forthcoming March 2010

•    Article, “A Curious Commission: The Reliquary of St. Servatius in Quedlinburg,” forthcoming in Gesta, March 2010

•    Article, “Ottonian Art and its Afterlife: Revisiting Percy Ernst Schramm’s Portraiture Idea,” Oxford Art Journal, volume 32, number 2 (June 2009): 205-222

•    Book Chapter, “Henry II’s renovatio in the Pericope Book and Regensburg Sacramentary,” in The White Mantle of Churches: Architecture, Liturgy and Art Around the Millennium, ed. Nigel Hiscock (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003), 57-79