East Central University
A famous Islamic citadel and palace constructed during the 14th century, now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, will be the topic of the first-ever Lockmiller Lecture in Art History at East Central University.
Dr. Cynthia Robinson, a professor in the Department of the History of Art at Cornell University, will talk about the Alhambra, often considered the culminating artistic achievement of medieval Hispano-Islamic civilization, at 4 p.m. April 19 in Estep Multimedia Center in the Bill Cole University Center. The lecture is open to the public.
Title of her lecture is “The Whole Alhambra: Comparative Considerations of a ‘Unique’ Nasrid Monument in the Context of Court Life.”
The Lockmiller Lectureship was established by retired ECU faculty member Dr. Carlotta Lockmiller in honor of her father, David Lockmiller, and his interest in art history.
Alhambra, the dynastic seat of the 14th-century Nasrid Sultanate, was constructed by Muslim rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Spain and is often characterized as a “unique” monument. After Ferdinand and Isabel, the “Catholic kings,” took control of Granada in 1492, they also used the Alhambra as a palace and administrative center. Over the course of the next several centuries, the complex fell into disrepair and underwent several restorations.
Despite the enormous body of scholarship on the Alhambra, Robinson said it is puzzling that until very recently it has remained resistant to the sort of historically contextualized interpretation that has unlocked the mysteries of many other medieval monuments.
Her research incorporates a variety of contemporary written sources and comparative buildings, both Islamic and Christian, to consider the Alhambra through the eyes of the audience(s) for which it was created and shed light on the aesthetics, courtly culture and literary tastes of the Nasrid court. The lecture also reaffirms the Alhambra as a distinctly Islamic palace in relation to the medieval monuments of Christian Spain.