Art History Chair Smith Explores Mysterious Medieval Manuscript in New Book


The Taymouth Hours, by Kathryn Smith, chair of NYU’s Department of Art History, explores the origins and significance of a manuscript of the same name that was written and illustrated in late medieval England.

Art History Chair Smith Explores Mysterious Medieval Manuscript in New Book
The Taymouth Hours (the British Library/University of Toronto Press) by Kathryn Smith, chair of NYU’s Department of Art History, explores the origins and significance of a manuscript of the same name that was written and illustrated in late medieval England.

The Taymouth Hours (the British Library/University of Toronto Press) by Kathryn Smith, chair of NYU’s Department of Art History, explores the origins and significance of a manuscript of the same name that was written and illustrated in late medieval England.

While the work is well-known to medievalists and art historians, the circumstances of its genesis have been a mystery. Smith’s work, the first comprehensive study of the Taymouth Hours, traces the manuscript back to Philippa of Hainault, queen of Edward III, and Edward’s sister, the 13-year-old Eleanor of Woodstock.

In her volume, Smith focuses on the relationships between the manuscript’s copious marginal imagery, which includes a wealth of religious and secular stories, and the devotional texts these images border while placing the work within the historical, political, religious, and artistic contexts of early 14th-century England and northern Europe.

Smith’s other works include Art, Identity, and Devotion in Fourteenth-Century England: Three Women and Their Books of Hours (2003), Tributes to Lucy Freeman Sandler: Studies in Illuminated Manuscripts (2007), co-edited with Carol Krinsky, a professor in NYU’s Department of Art History, and numerous articles, essays, and reviews on medieval illuminated manuscripts and early Christian and medieval art.

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