Trinity Term 2022 OMS Lecture: Caroline Danforth

Paper, Linen, Silk, and Parchment – Material Fragments from an Extinguished Convent

Tuesday 26 April 2022, 5p. Watch the recording on the OMS Youtube Channel

Apollonia von Freyberg was a Poor Clare nun living in the medieval village of Mülhausen (today, Mulhouse, France). We know of Apollonia through an artefact housed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC – a colored woodcut by Lienhart Ysenhut (1959.16.15) which is housed inside a box made, in part, of recycled materials. Among these materials is the fragment of a letter addressed to Apollonia. Apollonia enriched her convent with manifold gifts and subsequently experienced the dissolution of her cloistered home during the Protestant Reformation. Beginning with Ysenhut’s print and the clues hidden in its enclosure, learn more about Apollonia’s family, wealth, and fate following her departure from Mülhausen in the early 16th century.

Caroline Danforth holds an MFA in painting from The George Washington University and a BA in German, Art History, and Fine Arts from Mary Washington College. She also studied art history in Germany for two years, in Munich and Tübingen. Since 2008, she has worked as a preservation framer of prints, drawings, and photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Her research interests include the history and manufacture of parchment, German to English translation, and the Poor Clares of late medieval Germany. Most recently, Caroline served as guest editor for a special issue on parchment for Art in Translation and co-authored Letters for Apollonia for Franciscan Studies.

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