Beth Mulvaney

Professor of Art, Art Historian, Department Head

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Office: 107-2 Gaddy-Hamrick
Phone: (919) 760-8497


Areas of Expertise

  • Italian Late Medieval and Renaissance Art History
  • Franciscan Art and Architecture
  • Nuns and patronage

Professional biography

A specialist in Italian late Medieval and early Renaissance art, Professor Mulvaney is fond of nearly all periods of art, including modern and contemporary. She has participated as a fellow in two NEH seminars, both of which have resulted in two rich avenues of research.  The study of Franciscan art and architecture, particularly that at San Francesco in Assisi, has occupied her for several years and resulted in numerous conference presentations, several essays in books, and her work as an editor of one published volume of essays focused on St. Francis of Assisi and a second one that is in process. Building on her Franciscan research she began a new focus in Venice on working on Clarissan (Franciscan) nuns’ patronage at Santa Maria dei Miracoli and the convent once adjoined to the church. In February, 2013 she was selected to give the J. Bernard Schultz Endowed Lecture in Art History at West Virginia State University on this current research.

In addition to conducting her research on Italian art, she enjoys helping students learn to undertake research on art and artists. In her time at Meredith she has supervised student research that has been published as well as presented at various regional, national and international conferences.

Mulvaney serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of SECAC (Southeastern College Art Conference), which is a major arts organization that draws members nationally and internationally. In 2012 she chaired the conference that brought 750 artists and scholars to Durham for the annual meeting.


Academic Credentials

PhD Art History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dissertation: “Duccio’s Maestà Narrative Cycles: A Study of Meaning”
MA Art History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Thesis: “Giotto’s Arena Chapel Crucifixion: Iconography and Form.”
BA Art History, State University of New York at Buffalo.
New College of the University of South Florida, Sarasota


Research

My current scholarly work is focused on Santa Maria dei Miracoli in Venice, its miracle-working image, and the convent of nuns that were once associated with the church. I have written several articles and given many papers on the cycle of frescoes at San Francesco, Assisi and I am currently editing a second book focused on St. Francis of Assisi. In addition to these two main concentrations, I continue my interests in Trecento art and drama, particularly the art of Duccio and Giotto.


Awards

2013 J. Bernard Schultz Endowed Lecture in Art History at West Virginia State University
2006 Fellow, NEH Seminar:  Shaping Civic Space in Renaissance Venice
2006 Laura Harrill Presidential Award    
2005 Meredith College Faculty Distinguished Lecturer         2003 Fellow, NEH Seminar:  St. Francis in the Thirteenth Century       
2001 Pauline Davis Perry Award for Research and Publications, Meredith College


Publications

“Standing on the Threshold: Beholder and Vision in the St. Francis Cycle in the Upper Church of San Francesco, Assisi.”n In Beyond the Text: Franciscan Art and Construction of Religion. Ed. by Xavier Seubert, O.F.M. and Oleg Bychkov. St Bonaventure, NY:  St. Bonaventure Press, 2013, pp. 84-102.
“Standing on the Threshold:  Beholder and Vision in the Assisi Crib at Greccio,” in Finding Francis in Literature and Art:  Story and Memory across Time. Ed. by Cynthia Ho, Beth A. Mulvaney, and John K. Downey.  Palgrave Press, 2009.
“The Beholder as Witness:  The Crib at Greccio  from the Upper Church of San Francesco, Assisi and Franciscan Influence on Late Medieval Art in Italy,” in The Art of the Franciscan Order in Italy, ed. William R. Cook (Leidon: Brill, 2005), 169-188.
“Reading Gesture on Duccio’s Maestà:  Art, Drama and Ritual in Late Medieval Siena,” in New Approaches to European Theater of the Middle Ages:  an Ontology, ed. by B. Gusick  and E. DuBruck (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 2004):  13-43.
“Gesture and Audience:  The Passion and Duccio’s Maestà,” in Gesture in Medieval Drama and Art, ed. by Clifford Davidson, Early Drama, Art and Music Monograph Series (Kalamazoo, Mi.:  Medieval Institute Publications, 2001): 178-220.
“Book Review.” O'Connell, Michael, Feo Belcari, and Castellano Castellani. Three Florentine sacre rappresentazioni: texts and translations. Tempe, Ariz: ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies), 2011. Fifteenth-Century Studies 38 (July, 2013).
“Book Review.” Domestic Institutional Interiors in Early Modern Europe, edited by Sandra Cavallo and Silvia Evangelisti in Southeastern College Art Conference Review, 16 (2011): 73-76.
“Book Reviews” [Cannon and Vauchez, Margherita of Cortona and the Lorenzetti:  Sienese Art and the Cult of a Holy Woman in Medieval Tuscany, and Norman, Siena and the Virgin:  Art and Politics in a Late Medieval City State], Southeastern College Art Conference Review 13/5 (2000): 469-72

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