In medieval Europe, the walled garden with fragrant flowers, herbs, sweet breezes, bird songs, and a gurgling fountain was idealized as a place of delight for the senses and escape from the tumult of everyday cares. Such aspects of life inspired works of art that stirred all the senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—and that are the focus of the ground-breaking international loan exhibition A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe, at the Walters from October 16, 2016 to January 8, 2017.
The exhibition brings together more than 100 works representative of the late medieval period—roughly the 12th to the 15th century—to explore how the senses enhance the experience of art. . . and how art triggers sensate experience. Included are stained glass, precious metals and gemstones, ivories, tapestries, paintings, prints, and illuminated manuscripts from public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad.
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A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe has been organized by the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, in partnership with the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota.
This exhibition received major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the National Endowment for the Arts; and anonymous donors, with additional support from the Gary Vikan Exhibition Fund, Nanci and Ned Feltham, and the Helen Hughes Trust. The accompanying catalogue was made possible by an anonymous donor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, or the National Endowment for the Arts.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.