Robert A. Maxwell

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Associate Professor
204 Jaffe Building

Robert A. Maxwell (Ph.D., Yale; A.B., Princeton) teaches the art of the Middle Ages, specializing in the sculpture, architecture, and manuscripts of the Romanesque and Early Gothic periods, while also pursuing an interest in medieval art's historiography.

Research Interests: 

His research has concerned problems of word & image (Art Bulletin), the 18th-century reception of medieval art (Art History), sculptural provenance (Bulletin monumental), Romanesque architecture and the “workshop” model (Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians), the problem of sculptural programs (Le programme), and pilgrimage architecture (Architectural History).

Forthcoming articles include studies of the ethnicity of Romanesque art; Aquitainian illumination; the temporality of dreams in 12th-century illuminated manuscripts; fraud, forgery and the cult of the image.


His first book, The Art of Medieval Urbanism: Parthenay in Romanesque Aquitaine (Penn State Press), considers the role of monumental sculpture and architecture in defining the Romanesque cityscape. Edited volumes include: Representing History 900-1300: Art, Music, History (Penn State Press); and Current Directions in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century Sculpture Studies (Brepols). He is currently completing a book on the pictorial invention of sacred and secular histories in illuminated historical manuscripts (e.g., chronicles, cartularies).

Professor Maxwell has also collaborated with several Philadelphia museums, serving as consulting curator to an exhibition of incunabula for the Rosenbach Museum & Library, and as a contributor to the installation of Romanesque sculpture and Gothic stained glass for the Glencairn Museum.

Courses Taught: 
  • Freshman seminar:  The Medieval City
  • Writing seminar:  Writing about Reading an Illuminated Manuscript
  • Introductory Course:  Medieval Art
  • Introductory Course:  Medieval Architecture
  • Introductory Course:  Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • Undergrad Seminar:  1066 - Site Seminar to Normandy and England
  • Undergrad Seminar:  Whores, Lepers & the Ugly: Outcasts in Medieval Art
  • Undergrad Seminar:  Dreams & Visions in Medieval Art
  • Advanced Seminar:  Illuminated Manuscripts of the Middle Ages
  • Advanced Seminar:  Glossed Books and Medieval Learning (with Prof. Ann Matter)
  • Advanced Seminar:  Cluny 910-2010 - Site Seminar to Burgundy
  • Graduate Seminar:  The Early History of Art History
  • Graduate Seminar:  Methods in Art History
  • Graduate Seminar:  Romanesque Art
  • Graduate Seminar:  Medieval Urbanism: Art, History, Theory
  • Graduate Seminar:  Medieval, Postmodern
  • Graduate Seminar:  Spanish Medieval Art

Coming Soon:

  • Age of Pilgrimage and Crusades
  • Apocalypse Now & Then
  • Death & Dying in Medieval Art