I began my career not as an academic but as a lawyer, practicing law in both California and Vermont before returning to grad school to get my Ph.D in Art History. I teach a wide range of courses on the art and architecture of the Middle Ages and Northern Renaissance, and also contribute to the department's Introduction to Visual Culture and Episodes in Western Art courses. I began my research career by focusing on fifteenth-century illuminated manuscripts of France and Flanders, specifically focusing on two illuminators well known among well-to-do patrons: Jean Fouquet and Simon Marmion. In recent years I have been exploring issues more directly related to what I teach and more directly relevant to my students. For example, I worked with a team of students to investigate how technology can open up new avenues for understanding the art and architecture of the distant past, in a project entitled "Virtual Chartres Cathedral." More recently I've developed a course entitled "Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Spain," which examines the rich cultural interactions that took place on the Iberian peninsula during the Middle Ages, and their implications for the modern era.
Projects such as these have also allowed me to travel to parts of the globe I otherwise might never have seen. During the spring 2010 semester, for example, I spent 12 weeks as a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University's Humanities Research Centre in Canberra, investigating the roles that images play in shaping cultural identity. My most recent course-development project – entitled "Making Jewish Art History" – took me to a number of medieval Jewish cultural sites in Germany and France where the past is being recreated and reinvented, including the strange case of the alleged medieval synagogue in Chablis, France, recently restored by one of the town's wealthiest wine-makers. And during a number of summers over the past fifteen or so years, I've served as a study leader on tours organized by the American Museum of Natural History; I will be leading a tour of the Baltic region in June 2013.
And I always enjoy traveling with students on our annual departmental field trip, which in late September 2012 took us to Philadelphia.