Eliza Garrison

Professor of History of Art & Architecture

 work(802) 443-5296
 On Leave 2021-2022
 Mahaney Arts Center 213

Eliza Garrison’s research focuses on the art of the Carolingian and Ottonian Empires, the historiography of medieval art, and on the importance of copies, copying, and simulative practices 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 Word & Image, the Oxford Art JournalGestaPeregrinations, and Postmedieval Forum. Her first book, Ottonian Imperial Art and Portraiture: The Artistic Patronage of Otto III and Henry II, appeared in 2012 with Ashgate. A second book dealing with the simulative qualities of Ottonian artworks is in the works.



Course List: 

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

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. ART EUR HIS

Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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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. ART EUR HIS

Spring 2019, Fall 2022

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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. ART EUR HIS

Fall 2019

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HARC 0257 - Bayeux Tapestry      

The Bayeux Tapestry: Models, Contexts, and Afterlives
In this course we will take a close look at the late eleventh-century Bayeux Tapestry (also known as the Bayeux Embroidery), examining its historical and literary models, the details of its creation, and its varied reverberations throughout the arts of the medieval and modern eras. Along the way, we will consider how this 230-foot long embroidered textile entangled its medieval and modern viewers in the stories it tells and those it avoids. We will discover that it offers much food for thought in relation to issues of gender and masculinity in the European Middle Ages, the representation of the Other, the visualization of disability, the taming of the natural world, and the terrors and banalities of war. Hands-on assignments will familiarize us with some of the techniques and materials used to create this monument of medieval European Art History. No prerequisites. Some familiarity with art history and/or medieval history helpful but not required. (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1032) 3 hours lct/disc. ART EUR HIS

Spring 2021

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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. 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. ART CW

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

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HARC 0353 - Medieval Bodies      

Medieval Bodies
In this seminar we will examine how medieval European thinkers and artists theorized and visualized the body in ways that are vastly different from the ways in which the body is conceptualized today. Indeed, the “medieval body” was not a monolithic entity, but rather a shifting constellation of ideas and practices that waxed, waned, and coexisted throughout the Middle Ages. A body could be understood as an earthly body — sexed, fleshly, corruptible — as well as a heavenly and divine body, including Christ’s own. Our considerations will further contextualize representations of gendered, racialized, clerical, monstrous, animal, virginal, non-Christian, heretical, resurrected, and uncircumscribable bodies. Readings of the secondary literature will broaden readings of primary source materials, and our discussions will remain cognizant of gender-, sexuality-, race-, and performance-critical methods. There are no prerequisites for this course, but students will find it helpful to have some familiarity with either the history of art or with medieval history. 3hrs sem. ART EUR HIS

Fall 2018

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HARC 0510 - Advanced Studies      

Advanced Studies
Supervised independent work in art history, museum studies, or architectural studies. (Approval Required)

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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IGST 0700 - Senior Work      

Senior Work
(Approval Required)

Fall 2019, Fall 2020

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Book and Exhibition Catalogue


Book, Ottonian Imperial Art and Portraiture: The Artistic Patronage of Otto III and Henry II (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2012; Second Edition, Routledge, 2017)


Co-editor and contributing author, Naked Truth: Approaches to the Body in Early Twentieth Century German-Austrian Art, ed. Richard Saunders, Eliza Garrison, Bettina Matthias, and James Van Dyke (Middlebury: University Press of New England, 2015)


  • Essay entitled “States of the Body in the Work of George Grosz and Otto Dix,” 49-59


Journal Articles


Article, “Mimetic Bodies: Repetition, Replication, and Simulation in the Marriage Charter of Empress Theophanu,” Word & Image vol. 33, no. 2 (2017): 212-232


Article, “A Curious Commission: The Reliquary of St. Servatius in Quedlinburg,” Gesta, volume 49, number 1 (2010): 17-29


Article, “Otto III at Aachen,” Peregrinations, volume 3, number 1 (Summer 2010): 83-137


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 Chapters


Chapter, “Motion and Time in the Egbert Psalter,” in Imago libri: Les représentations carolingiennes du livre, ed. Charlotte Denoël, Anne-Orange Poilpré, and Sumi Shimahara (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018), 163-171


Chapter, “Engaging the Lothar Cross,” in Engaging the Passion, ed. Larry Yarbrough (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015), 239-246


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


Chapter co-written with Evan Gatti, “A Reliquary Revisited: The Saint Servatius Casket and its Contexts,” for publication in A Companion to the Abbey of Quedlinburg in the Middle Ages, ed. Karen Blough, under contract with Brill


Chapter, “The Golden Spaces of the Uta Codex (Munich: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 13601),” for publication in Illuminating Metalwork: Metal, Object, and Image in Medieval Manuscripts, eds. Joseph Ackley and Shannon Wearing, in preparation


Department of History of Art & Architecture

Edward Vazquez, Chair

Michaela Davico, Department Coordinator

Mahaney Center for the Arts
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753