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Brigitte BuettneR

Louise Ines Doyle 1934 Professor of Art

email Send E-mail office Office: Hillyer 306 phone Phone: 585-3125
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Brigitte Buettner joined Smith College in 1990. Originally from Switzerland, she earned her B.A. from the Universitè de Paris-X Nanterre, and her Ph.D. in medieval art history from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Prior to moving to Northampton, she worked as a collection specialist in the Photo Archive of the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Professor Buettner wrote her dissertation on a French illuminated manuscript (c. 1400) of Giovanni Boccaccio’s “On Famous Women” (published as a College Art Association Monograph in 1996). After several articles on late medieval manuscripts in a courtly context, and in gift-giving rituals in particular, her attention has shifted to the sumptuary arts and questions of materiality. She is currently finishing a wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary examination of the role precious stones in medieval art, symbolic practices, and in the production of scientific knowledge. This project has received the support of the Mellon Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Her classes alternate between the Middle Ages (Age of Cathedrals, Romanesque Art, Relics and Reliquaries) and the early modern period North of the Alps (Northern Renaissance Art, Monsters and Marvels, Art and Natural History). She also teaches transcultural thematic courses (Portraiture, Art and its Histories, and a course on witchcraft, alchemy, and the occult arts currently in development).