The Book of Marvels: Imagining Asia in Late Medieval France

Manuscrit Francais 2810. Le livre des merveilles du monde (The book of marvels of the world)
Manuscrit Francais 2810. Le livre des merveilles
du monde (The book of marvels of the world

December 8  •  6:00p

FIA Theater 

Dr. Mark Cruse, Guest Lecturer 

This lecture examines one of the most famous and sumptuous manuscripts produced in medieval Europe. The Book of Marvels, today preserved in the National Library of France, was produced circa 1410 for the crusader John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. Its compilation of works on Asia, including Marco Polo, and 265 miniatures offer a sweeping portrait of people, places, animals, and customs from the Middle East to China. We will discuss how The Book of Marvels came to be and why it is such a valuable record of the global past.

Dr. Mark Cruse
Dr. Mark Cruse

Cruse is Associate Professor of French in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the relationship between literature and visual culture in medieval Europe. His publications have examined the legend of Alexander the Great, manuscript illumination, heraldry, the Louvre, and medieval theater, among other subjects. He is currently writing a book on relations between France and Asia in the late Middle Ages. 

New Archaeological Evidence for the Biblical Kingdom of David

January 11 • 6:00p

FIA Theater 

Dr. Michael Pytlik, Guest Lecturer 

aerial shot of archaeological excavation site

Oakland University, in partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has conducted field excavations at the ancient site of Khirbet Qeiyafa, or Biblical Sha'arayim. The project was devoted to a regional assessment of the early Judean monarch (circa the early 10th century BCE) over eleven field seasons. This and other sites recently excavated revealed for the first time archaeological data about the kingdom from the time of King David. This site revealed details about ancient Israel from the time of David, including biblical religion, daily life, the ancient diet, socio-political details, and more. This talk will discuss why the site was selected for excavation, the exciting finds, and the scope and reach of the kingdom associated with the historical kingdom of David.

Dr. Michael Pytlik
Dr. Michael Pytlik

Dr. Michael Pytlik is Adjunct Assistant Professor in Anthropology and Religion and the Director of Jewish Studies at Oakland University. He has excavated a number of biblical and more recent sites in Israel and takes students from Oakland to Israel each year on excavations. Dr. Pytlik has a Bachelor’s degree in History and Philosophy, a Master's in Jewish Studies, and a Doctorate in Jewish Studies from Spertus College of Judaic Studies and Leadership, Chicago. His area of study was historical and theological questions relating to the early Israelite monarchy at the time of King David. He teaches courses in the Archaeology of Israel, Archaeology of Sacred Sites, Jewish History, Theology, Religion and Culture, and World Religions. 

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The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture has been established to address the topics of art, religion, and history, and is funded annually by The Sheppy Dog Fund, Dr. Alan Klein, Advisor.

In the Garden

December 14 • 10:30a–11:30a

Isabel Hall

John Singer Sargent, American, born Italy, 1856 - 1925. Garden Study of the Vickers Children, 1884. Oil on canvas. 54 1/2 × 36 in. Gift of the Viola E. Bray Charitable Trust via Mr. and Mrs. William L. Richards, 1972.47

This talk by Curator Tracee Glab will take a close look at one of the FIA’s most beloved paintings Garden Study of the Vickers Children by American artist John Singer Sargent. At first glance, the painting may appear to be just a simple portrait of the English siblings Dorothy and Vincent Vickers, but the circumstances surrounding the portrait commission, including the details of a scandal involving the artist, reveal there’s more to explore.

John Singer Sargent, American, born Italy, 1856 - 1925. Garden Study of the Vickers Children, 1884. Oil on canvas. 54 1/2 × 36 in. Gift of the Viola E. Bray Charitable Trust via Mr. and Mrs. William L. Richards, 1972.47

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The Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture has been established to address the topics of art, religion, and history, and is funded annually by The Sheppy Dog Fund, Dr. Alan Klein, Advisor.For more Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture, click here.