Beate Fricke

Professor, History of Art
University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies

Beate Fricke teaches European Medieval Art. Her research focuses on the history of images using perspectives from philosophy, cultural anthropology, the natural sciences, and theology, with a special emphasis on theories of art and the image. Her first book, Ecce fides. Die Statue von Conques, G_tzendienst und Bildkultur im Westen (2007), investigated key issues in medieval religious imagery and culture: idolatry, veneration and medieval theories of images and relics. Through a historical investigation of objects and texts between the 9th and 11th centuries, the book outlines a western history of image culture, visuality and fiction. Currently in press is an edited anthology of articles on the relation between image and collective [Bilder und Gemeinschaften, Studien zur Konvergenz von Politik und _sthetik in Kunst, Literatur und Theorie, Fink 2010, ed. together with M. Klammer and S. Neuner], probing the impact of images on the formation of communities from late antiquity until the 21st century. Other recent publications focus on subjects at the "Margins of Culture", such as incest and anthropophagy, by exploring how "Kippfiguren" and other marginal insignia defined "culture" during the High and Late Middle Ages. In preparation is a monograph on the "The essence of Life. Blood, Color and their contribution to animation and evidence in Late Medieval Art", for which she was awarded a grant by the Swiss National Research Foundation (SNF) in 2008-09. This project scrutinizes the intersections between art, epistemology and the history of science, and investigates how the emergence of life is reflected in painting, art theory as well as in alchemy and medieval science.

last updated: March 26th, 2018