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Art & Imagery in York Minster - HOA00002M

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Sarah Brown
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2017-18

Module aims

This course will examine some of the surviving iconographic schemes in the Minster, looking not just at the stained glass, but also at the remaining medieval sculpture and monumental paintings so as to give as comprehensive a view as possible of the imagery in the Minster. We will start with the earliest standing part of the building, viz the transepts and chapter house. While following a broad chronological outline, so as to situate the works of art within the architectural development of the building, we shall focus on material which exemplifies the great variety of imagery, both theological and religious, and secular and humorous, within the Minster; and we shall be able to draw on literature which ranges from early antiquarian sources up to a number of very recent studies.

Module learning outcomes

  • To familiarise students with past and current trends in scholarship relating to York Minster.
  • To encourage students to explore complex buildings and their decoration from a holistic and inter-disciplinary / multi-disciplinary way.
  • To suggest topic and themes for further research.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Written mark and comments on summative assessment will be distributed to students in week 6 of the term in which the assessed work was submitted.

Indicative reading

N. Dawton, The York Chapter House: notes on the trumeau Virgin and the iconographic significance of the building, in H. Weston and D. Davies, eds., Essays in Honour of John White (1990), 48-54.
J. Aberth, The sculpted heads and figures inside the Chapter House of York Minster, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, CXLII (1989), 37-45.
H. McLaughlin, Monstrous beauties and lovely deformities: the marginal sculptures of the York Minster Chapter House, York Historian XV (1998), 2-15.
D.E. OConnor and J. Haselock, The stained and painted glass, in G.E. Aylmer and R. Cant, eds., A History of York Minster (1977), 334-41.
C. Norton, The medieval paintings in the Chapter House, Friends of York Minster Annual Report, 1996, 34-51.
F. Harrison, The Painted Glass of York (1927), 22-30, 38-46, 198-203.
D.OConnor & J. Haselock, The stained and painted glass in G.E. Aylmer & R. Cant (eds.), A History of York Minster (1977), 341-364.
S. Brown, Stained Glass at York Minster (1999), 33-55.
C Winston & W.S. Walford, On an Heraldic Window in the North Aisle of York Minster, Arch.Jnl., XVII (1860), 22-34, reprinted in C. Winston, Memoirs Illustrative of the Art of Glass-Painting (1865), 265-284.
P. Hardwick, The Monkeys funeral in the Pilgrimage Window, York Minster, Art History, 23.2 (2000), 290-99.
J.A. Knowles & J.T. Hareman, The Penancers Window in the Nave of York Minster, Jnl.British Soc. Master Glass-Painters, V (1934), 177-184 (Minster Library).
E.C. Norton, Klosterneuburg and York: artistic cross-currents at an English cathedral, c. 1330, Wiener Jahrbuch f¼r Kunstgeschichte, XLVI/XLVII (1993-4), 519-32.
T.W. French and D.E. OConnor, York Minster. A Catalogue of Medieval Stained Glass. The West Windows of the Nave (1987), esp. 3-4, 15-18.
D.E. OConnor and J. Haselock, The stained and painted glass, in G.E. Aylmer and R. Cant, eds., A History of York Minster (1977), 319-25, 341-46, 358-64 (on the clerestory glazing).
S. Brown, Stained Glass at York Minster (1999), 44-54.
F. Harrison, The Painted Glass of York (1927), 30-38 (ditto).
Y.E. Weir, A Guide to the Heraldry in York Minster (1986), 22-8 (on the nave arcade and clerestory shields).
S. Oosterwijk and C. Norton, Figure sculpture from the twelfth-century Minster, FYMAR, 1990, 11-30 (on re-used sculpture on the upper parts of the exterior).
C. Norton St William of York (2006) covers the life and the development of the cult up to 1226.
D. Knowles, The case of St William of York, Cambridge Historical Journal, 5.2 (1936), 162-77,
212-14, reprinted in D. Knowles, The Historian and Character (1963), 76-97
C. Wilson, The Shrines of St William of York (1977), 1-17 is essential, but in need of revision
J.J.G. Alexander and P. Binski, eds., Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England, 1200-1400 (1987), nos. 513-6.
D.E. OConnor & J. Haselock, The stained and painted glass, in G.E. Aylmer and R. Cant, A
History of York Minster (1977), 340, (see also prints in the photographic collection of C/H n III), and 350-54
G.F. Wilmot, A discovery at York, Museums Journal, 52.2 (May 1957) 35-6
S. French, York Minster. The Great East Window (1995).
J. Rickers, Glazier and Illuminator: The Apocalypse Cycle in the East Window of York Minster and its Sources, Jnl. of Stained Glass, XIX No. 3 (1994-95). 269-75
C. Norton, Sacred Space and Sacred History, the glazing of the eastern arm of York Minster in R. Becksmann, ed Glasmalerei im Kontext- Bildprogramme und Raum Funktionen (2005) 167-81
C. Norton, Richard Scrope and York Minster, in P.J.P Goldberg, ed Richard Scrope- Archbishop, Rebel, Martyr (2007) 138-213 and 138-56.
T.W. French, The dating of the Lady Chapel in York Minster, Antiquaries Jnl., LII (1972), 309-319.
T.W. French, The dating of York Minster choir, YAJ, LXV (1992), 123-133.
C. Norton, Richard II and York Minster, in S. Rees Jones (ed.), The Government of Medieval York (1997), 56-87.
D.OConnor & J. Haselock, The stained and painted glass in G.E. Aylmer & R. Cant (eds.), A History of York Minster (1977), 364-378.
F. Harrison, The West Choir Clerestory Windows in York Minster, YAJ, XXVI (1922), 351- 73.
S. Brown, Stained Glass at York Minster (1999), 57-81.
F. Drake, Eboracum: or the History and Antiquities of the City of York (1736, reprinted 1978), Book II, pp.410ff, esp. plan opp. p.491 and pp.494-514; see also for chantries on pp.529-30. There is a copy in the KM.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

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