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Lauren Porter

MA work

Dissertation: Designing the Jubilee: The Material Culture of the Sixteenth-Century Holy&nbsp_place_holder;Years

My dissertation explores the material culture of the Catholic Jubilee over the course of the sixteenth century. This invented occasion required the deployment of a wide range of material objects in order to grant a sense of tradition, validity and authority to the papacy, derived both from popular imperatives and deliberate strategy. Both ceremonial and commemorative objects had a role to play in making the Jubilee one of the most successful and recognisable events in the history of the Catholic Church.

Souvenirs constituted a major part of the material culture of the Jubilee. Participation in the Holy Year was often a once-in-a-lifetime experience that the pilgrim would want to commemorate. Mass-produced items such a prints, pilgrim badges, medals and agnus deis acted as portable and tangible proof of a completed pilgrimage. They also provided an opportunity for knowledge of the Jubilee, and the incumbent pontiff, to be disseminated throughout the Catholic world. A hierarchy of souvenir items emerges, with unique items such as the Jubilee hammer being presented to distinguished pilgrims, raising issues of how the Jubilee was experienced by different social classes.

The diary of the papal master of ceremonies Johann Burchard - along with pilgrims' accounts - help to illuminate the ceremonial role that objects played in the Jubilee. Whether official instruments required by the pope in the opening ceremony, or processional paraphernalia displayed by the pious confraternities, it is clear that material objects were central to the resulting perceptions of the Jubilee.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2008

  • Dissertation: Designing the Jubilee: The Material Culture of the Sixteenth-Century Holy&nbsp_place_holder;Years

    My dissertation explores the material culture of the Catholic Jubilee over the course of the sixteenth century. This invented occasion required the deployment of a wide range of material objects in order to grant a sense of tradition, validity and authority to the papacy, derived both from popular imperatives and deliberate strategy. Both ceremonial and commemorative objects had a role to play in making the Jubilee one of the most successful and recognisable events in the history of the Catholic Church.

    Souvenirs constituted a major part of the material culture of the Jubilee. Participation in the Holy Year was often a once-in-a-lifetime experience that the pilgrim would want to commemorate. Mass-produced items such a prints, pilgrim badges, medals and agnus deis acted as portable and tangible proof of a completed pilgrimage. They also provided an opportunity for knowledge of the Jubilee, and the incumbent pontiff, to be disseminated throughout the Catholic world. A hierarchy of souvenir items emerges, with unique items such as the Jubilee hammer being presented to distinguished pilgrims, raising issues of how the Jubilee was experienced by different social classes.

    The diary of the papal master of ceremonies Johann Burchard - along with pilgrims' accounts - help to illuminate the ceremonial role that objects played in the Jubilee. Whether official instruments required by the pope in the opening ceremony, or processional paraphernalia displayed by the pious confraternities, it is clear that material objects were central to the resulting perceptions of the Jubilee.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) History of Art, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2006
  • Experience

  • Placement: Medieval and Renaissance Gallery Project, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2007
  • Awards

  • Winner, Essay Prize, Design History Society MA Essay Prize, 2007; Winner, Travel Grant, Basil Taylor Award, 2007