Holly Flora, Associate Professor, History of Art
Holly Flora received her PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 2005. Her research explores the intersections of narrative, performativity, imagination, and gender in the devotional art of late medieval and early Renaissance Italy. She has received research fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Samuel Kress Foundation, the International Center of Medieval Art, and the American Academy in Rome.
Prof. Flora’s monograph, The Devout Belief of the Imagination: the Paris Meditationes Vitae Christi and Female Franciscan Spirituality in Trecento Italy (Turnhout: Brepols, 2009) is the first in-depth study of the most important illustrated manuscript of the Meditationes Vitae Christi in terms of a female Franciscan audience. Her articles have appeared in Gesta, Bollettino Storico Pisano, and Studies in Iconography, as well as several edited volumes of essays. Prof. Flora is currently at work on a book project on Cimabue, the Franciscans, and artistic change in Italy at the end of the thirteenth century.
Before coming to Tulane, Prof. Flora worked in the museum world in New York, organizing exhibitions such as Cimabue and Early Italian Devotional Painting at The Frick Collection, where she spent two years as a curatorial fellow, and exhibitions on Ethiopian art, Georges Rouault, illuminated Bibles, and images of the Prodigal Son for the Museum of Biblical Art in Manhattan. She spent eleven years on the paid lecturing staff of the The Cloisters and enjoys guest lecturing there when she is in New York. Drawing upon her museum experiences, Prof. Flora teaches a course on the ethics of collecting for the Tulane-Siena Institute for International Law and the Arts every summer in Siena, Italy.
Course taught at Tulane:
Art and Architecture of Medieval Italy
Women and Gender in Medieval Art
Flora, Holly. The Devout Belief of the Imagination: The Paris 'Meditationes Vitae Christi' and Female Franciscan Spirituality in Trecento Italy. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2009.
Flora, Holly. "Empathy and Performative Vision in Oxford Corpus Christi College Ms. 410," Ikon: A Journal of Iconographic Studies (vol 3, 2010).
Flora, Holly. "Women Wielding Knives: The Circumcision of Christ by His Mother in an Illustrated Manuscript of the Meditationes vitae Christi (Paris Bibliothèque Nationale de France MS. ital. 115)", in The Christ Child in Medieval Culture: Alpha es et O! ed. Mary Dzon and Theresa M. Kenney (University of Toronto Press, 2011).
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