• Laura Weigert
  • Position: Professor and Chair
  • Research Interests: Northern European art of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance
  • Ph.D. Northwestern University

Biographical Information:

On leave academic year 2023-24

Laura Weigert specializes in Northern European art of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. She received her B.A. from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Professor Weigert has taught at the University of Nantes and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and was Associate Professor of Art History and Humanities at Reed College before joining the Rutgers faculty in September 2006. Her scholarship addresses the interaction between diverse media in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to probe questions of representation, spectatorship, and meaning making during this period. She has published on manuscript illumination, prints, panel painting, textiles, and the ephemeral arts of performance. Her book on tapestries, Weaving Sacred Stories: French Choir Tapestries and the Performance of Clerical Identity (Cornell, 2004) reconstructs the architectural and ceremonial context in which tapestries were seen and the process of storytelling to which they contributed. French Visual Culture and the Making of Medieval Theater (Cambridge, 2015) engages theatricality as an interpretive lens to understand a broad range of fifteenth-century artifacts and performance practices and reveals the roots of misperceptions about medieval theater that continue to inform the disciplines of art history and theater history. She is currently investigating the fifteenth-century origins of modern media distinctions and the role that painting played in their definition. This research has been supported by fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the Kress Foundaion, CASVA, and the NEH. She has been a member twice at the Institute for Advanced Study twice and was a visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. She is currently Chair of the art history department.

Current Interests & Research:

Media Archeology
Art and Theater in the Fifteenth century
Space and spatiality in Early Modern Europe
Twentieth-century art historiography in France
Representing love in sixteenth-century France
Medieval and Renaissance ekphrasis


Undergraduate Classes Taught:

Looking at 21st Century Global Issues in Historical Perspective (cross listed with History)
Pictorial Narrative
Gender and Visual Representation 1200-1700
Introduction to Art History (Prehistory through 1400)
Introduction to Methods of Art History
Northern Renaissance Art
Gothic Art and Architecture
History of Medieval Art and Architecture
Rogier van der Weyden: Blood and Tears
Manuscript Illumination
Art in Paris. Spaces, Places, and Pictures: From Lutetia to Louis XIV (Taught in Paris)

Graduate Classes Taught:

Art and Performance I: Medieval Theatricality
Art and Performance II: Processions
Methods of Art History
French Painting in the Fifteenth Century
Transhistorical Perspectives on Media Technologies 1450-1950 (with Andres Zervigon)
Global to Gaia Vision (with Atif Akin, Art and Design, Mason Gross School of Arts)

Recent Honors and Fellowships:

-2019-2020: Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
-2015-2016: Invited Researcher, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris.
-2015: Visiting Professor, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.
-2011-2012: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.
-2010-2011: Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington.
-2008-present: Alexander von Humboldt collaborative American-German research grant for joint project (Landscapes-Soundscapes-Cityscapes) with Prof. Dr. Tanja Michalsky (Art History, Rome) and Prof. Dr. Anno Mungen (Music History, Thurnau/Bayreuth).



Lauras bookJudith et Holopherne

French Visual Culture and the Making of Medieval Theater, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Weaving Sacred Stories: French Choir Tapestries and the Performance of Clerical Identity, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004.

Judith et Holopherne, Marc de Launay, Catherine Lépront, and Laura Weigert, Paris : Desclée de Brouwer, 2003.

La Vie de Saint Etienne et la cathédrale d’Auxerre, Edited by Micheline Durand and Laura Weigert (catalogue of exhibition at the Musée Saint Germain, Auxerre, 2000), Auxerre: Presse du Musée Saint-Germain, 2000.

Recent Articles:

-“Entertainment for the Crowd,” in A Spectacle for a Princess: the Festive Entry of Joanna of
Castile into Brussels, Dagmar Eichberger ed., Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming.
-“Entertainment or the ‘Science of Play’,” in a Cultural History of Media, vol. 3 (The Middle
Ages) Carol Symes ed., London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming.
-“The Environment of Theatre,” in A Cultural History of Theatre in the Middle Ages, Jody Enders ed., London: Bloomsbury, 2017, 77-103.
-“Between mass and ‘mystère’: the Life of Saint Remigius and the ceremonial function of choir tapestries,” in Europe’s Rich Fabric. The Consumption, Commercialisation, and Production of Luxury Textiles in Italy, the Low Countries and Neighboring Territories (Fourteenth-Sixteenth Centuries), Bart Lambert and Katherine Anne Wilson eds., Farnham: Ashgate, January, 2016, 69-87 (in press).
- review essay of Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade 1500-1800, Art Bulletin 97.3 (2015), 342-45.
-“Les tapisseries: images et cérémonial laïque,” in Les images dans l’Occident médiéval, Pierre-Olivier Dittmar and Jérôme Baschet eds., Turnhout: Brepols, 2015, 131-45.
-“Stage,” in Early Modern Theatricality, Henry Turner ed, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 24-46.
-“L’image peinte du prescheur et la transformation du public théâtral (1470-1577),” in Prédication et performance du XIIe au XVIe siècle, Marie Bouhaïk-Gironès and Marie Anne Polo de Beaulieu eds, Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013, 229-250.
-“Anthoine Vérard’s Illuminated Playscript of La vengeance nostre seigneur: Marketing Plays and Creating the King’s Image,” in The Social Life of Illumination, Manuscripts, Images and Communities in the Late Middle Ages, Joyce Coleman, Mark Cruse, Kathryn Smith eds, Turnhout: Brepols, 2013, 251-296.
-“The Art of Tapestry: Neither Minor nor Decorative,” in From Minor to Major. The Minor Arts in Medieval Art History, Colum Hourihane, ed. University Park: Penn State University Press, 2012, 103-122.
-“Performativity,” in Keywords for Medieval Art History, Nina Rowe ed., Studies in Iconography 33 (2012) : 61-72.



Longer List of Publications

List of Lectures and Fellowships