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Products for grant PF-266774-19

PF-266774-19
European Decorative Arts Storage Renovation
Barbara Heller, Detroit Institute of Arts

Grant details: https://apps.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=PF-266774-19

VCESDA Virtual Annual Meeting: Magnificence in Steel (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: VCESDA Virtual Annual Meeting: Magnificence in Steel
Abstract: Dr. Chassica Kirchhoff gave a virtual lectures inspired by what she learned about the DIA armor collection as part of the NEH SCHC ESDA Storage Upgrade Project. "Magnificence in Steel", was on Saturday, September 26 for the Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts (VCESDA), one of the DIA supporting Auxiliaries. Its focused was the specific discoveries Dr. Kirchhoff made while examining and studying the armor from the estate of William Randolph Hearst. The NEH SCHC grant was acknowledged during the lecture, as these examinations would not have taken place without this grant. .
Author: Dr. Chassica Kirchhoff
Date: 09/26/2020
Location: Virtual Meeting (Online)
Primary URL: https://www.dia.org/events/vcesda-virtual-annual-meeting

Lunch and Learn (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Lunch and Learn
Abstract: Dr. Chassica Kirchhoff gave a virtual lectures inspired by what she has learned about our armor collection during this NEH SCHC project. The first was a “Lunch and Learn” was given for Associate level members and above, which focused on armor represented in the DIA collection including sculptures, paintings, prints and armor. The NEH SCHC grant was acknowledged during the lecture, as these examinations would not have taken place without this grant.
Author: Dr. Chassica Kirchhoff
Date: 06/11/2020
Location: Virtual Meeting (online)

Puzzling Paintings in Light: A Series of Elizabethan Stained-Glass Panels at the DIA (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Puzzling Paintings in Light: A Series of Elizabethan Stained-Glass Panels at the DIA
Abstract: Dr. Chassica Kirchhoff has given four virtual lectures inspired by the research undertaken and new cataloging protocols implemented during this NEH SCHC project. The NEH SCHC grant was acknowledged during each of the lectures, as these examinations would not have taken place without this grant. In June 2021, Dr. Kirchhoff presented “Puzzling Paintings in Light: A Series of Elizabethan Stained-Glass Panels at the DIA,” a talk sharing a series of 14 heraldic stained-glass panels from the Elizabethan manor of Warkworth in Northamptonshire that reside at the DIA. These complex renaissance paintings in light embody sixteenth-century innovations in the glazier’s art as well as venerable techniques that date to the high Middle Ages. These works were among the 39 stained glass objects that Dr. Kirchhoff examined alongside Megan Reddicks Pignataro and Allison Slenker in December 2020 and January 2021.
Author: Kirchhoff, Chassica
Date: 06/15/2021
Location: Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit Steel: Re-examining and Rehousing the Arms and Armor Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (Article)
Title: Detroit Steel: Re-examining and Rehousing the Arms and Armor Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts
Author: Kirchhoff, Chassica
Abstract: DIA armor made the cover of the July 2021 issue of ICOMAM Magazine (the biannual publication of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History). Dr. Kirchhoff was invited by the editors, Dr. Jeffrey Forgeng of the Worchester Museum of Art and former Tower Armouries conservator, Kay Brown, to contribute a short overview of the DIA’s martial collection and the NEH-funded research and collections care work. It is hoped that being featured in this publication will not only draw attention to these amazing objects but invite future interest, research, and collaboration from the international community of colleagues who specialize in arms and armor studies.
Year: 2021
Primary URL: https://icomam.mini.icom.museum/the-magazine/#
Primary URL Description: ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History. ICOMAM publishes an online publication, called The MAGAZINE, twice a year about the work of our members. It includes items of news, information about exhibitions, new acquisitions, reports of congresses as well as short articles.
Secondary URL: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tGlk8oo1AaJ16dPCN6FmkT8F9UVQCFGr/view
Secondary URL Description: Cover image and the article starts on page 15
Format: Magazine
Periodical Title: ICOMAM Magazine, Issue 25, June 2021
Publisher: ICOMAM Magazine

DIA’s first female armor specialist digs into history to reveal the secrets behind medieval suits (Article)
Title: DIA’s first female armor specialist digs into history to reveal the secrets behind medieval suits
Author: Webb, Jessica Johnson
Abstract: Roadtrippers Magazine featured an article, dated July 23, 2021, about DIA’s first female armor specialist who “digs into history to reveal secrets behind medieval suits." Suits of armor, popular in late 15th- and early 16th-century Europe, are usually associated with men. But the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), is trying to change that—in 2020, Chassica “Chaz” Kirchhoff, one of only a few known female armor specialists in the world, became the first to join DIA’s curatorial staff. DIA’s arms and armor collection is among the best in North America. Much of it was loaned to the museum in the 1940s by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, whose foundation made a gift of the works following his death in 1951. Kirchhoff says that suits of armor conjure the sense of a person long-dead. “In the case of arms and armors, these works bore witness to significant events and historical experiences, not only of war, but also courtly pageantry like tournaments,” she says.
Year: 2021
Primary URL: https://roadtrippers.com/magazine/dia-suits-of-armor/
Primary URL Description: Article about armor, wealth power and masculinity, impermeable surfaces, the power of wearable objects, and outlines three main armor types: battle, tournament, and parade armor.
Access Model: Open
Format: Magazine
Publisher: Roadtrippers Magazine

Steel Towns: Armor, Artistry, and Innovation in the Renaissance (Exhibition)
Title: Steel Towns: Armor, Artistry, and Innovation in the Renaissance
Curator: Dr. Chassica Kirchhoff
Abstract: Précis From around 1400 until the early 1600s, armorers were part of complex networks of artists, tradesmen, agents, and patrons that animated burgeoning artistic centers both north and south of the Alps. The collaborations and innovations that forged steel plate armor sparked creativity across many areas of the arts and sciences, and fostered prosperity for the steel towns of Renaissance Europe. Exhibition Summary During the Renaissance, plate armor was more than a defensive technology for war or knightly sport. It was a meaningful, multi-media form of kinetic sculpture, combining high fashion with cutting-edge engineering. The most luxurious and innovative armors commanded astronomical prices and—when worn in courtly pageants, in the tournament arena, or on the battlefield—participated in unforgettable events. This exhibition seeks to resituate armorers within the story of European art from the 15th through 17th centuries and to trace the ways that their artistic networks shaped civic landscapes and urban communities. Armorers’ workshops served as sites of intersection, collaboration, and inspiration for artists and craftspeople working in other media, including precious metalwork, printmaking, painting, and cutting-edge mechanical technologies like clockmaking. Numerous exhibitions have invited visitors to explore the exciting world of knightly sport embodied in jousts and tournaments. Recent blockbuster shows in the US, the UK, and Europe have explored how important patrons like Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519), King Henry VIII of England (1491–1547), or the Habsburg kings of Spain commissioned armors of unprecedented visual splendor and technological complexity, and how such wearable art participated in performances of power. However, few exhibitions have focused on armorers’ places at the centers of dynamic artistic networks, and compelling stories of communities renowned for the virtuosity of their smiths and luxury steel works they produced.
Year: 2022
Primary URL Description: Exhibition was approved and will be in 2027-8. Not yet posted publicly.

Divesting/Dismembering: Storage Findings in the Disassembly of Armor (Article)
Title: Divesting/Dismembering: Storage Findings in the Disassembly of Armor
Author: Livingston Bailin
Author: Megan Reddicks Pignataro
Author: Chassica Kirchhoff
Abstract: In 2019, the Detroit Institute of Arts was awarded a Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to renovate one of the museum’s European sculpture and decorative arts storage facilities. Integrally, it also established an opportunity to study intensively collection material housed long-term in storage. An understudied group of armors, previously in the William Randolph Hearst collection, comprised a major facet of the work. Until recently, these steel defenses were stored on custom-made wooden mannequins from the early twentieth century. The case study on which this article focuses illuminates the authors’ work undressing and dismembering one of these wood and metal bodies: a composite Maximilian-style armor (56.124.1-.10). Armor collection by patrons like Hearst, whose acquisitions decorated the halls of his vast New York townhome and Welsh castle of St. Donat’s, was a manipulation of bodies analogous to Dr. Frankenstein’s assembly of his own infamous monster. Collectors compensated for missing or incomplete elements with limbs poached from comparable period armors or, in some cases, with facsimiles likely crafted by Raymond Bartel, an armorer and Metropolitan Museum conservator turned Hearst employee. Disassembling and componentizing this armor into discrete body segments allowed the team to assess specific future conservation and safe-housing needs, isolate historical from modern pastiche, identify makers and/or regional origins, characterize craftsmanship details, and clarify the objects’ contexts of use. The authors’ work not only served the DIA’s collections care mission, but also revealed valuable information that would have otherwise remained undiscovered.
Year: 2023
Primary URL: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/toc/dia/current
Primary URL Description: Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Volume 97, Number 1 2023. Wearable Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. A Journal of the Detroit Institute of Arts. In addition to the paper volume’s circulation among DIA members and availability through the museum shop, subscribers to the publication or institutional subscriptions to the press are able to access digital copies online.
Secondary URL: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/728712
Secondary URL Description: Downloadable copy of the article.
Access Model: Subscriptions. Downloadable copies are available for purchase and, after five years, the articles are indexed and made available in full-text via JStor.
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Volume 97, Number 1 2023
Publisher: University of Chicago


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