Lilian Armstrong

Lilian Armstrong
Curriculum Vitae
Faculty emerita
B.A. Wellesley College, M.A. Radcliffe College, Ph.D. Columbia University
Lilian Armstrong
Mildred Lane Kemper Professor Emerita of Art

Italian Renaissance manuscripts and early printed books.

My research concentrates on the decoration of Italian books in the transition from the manuscript book to the book printed with movable type, especially in Venice, a major center of the new printing industry in the late 15th century. In this era, some manuscripts were still written and lavishly illuminated by hand, but also, many printed books were individualized with painted decoration. Analyzing the decoration provides information about the producers, patrons, readers, and distributors of Renaissance books. My book length publications include The Paintings and Drawings of Marco Zoppo (1976); Renaissance Miniature Painters and Classical Imagery: The Master of the Putti and His Venetian Workshop (London, 1981); the co-authored catalogue: The Painted Page: Italian Renaissance Book Illumination, 1450-1550, (ed. J. Alexander, London and New York, 1994); co-authored with Piero Scapecchi and Federica Toniolo, Gli Incunaboli della Biblioteca del Seminario Vescovile di Padova (Padua, 2008); La xilografia nel libro italiano del XV sexcolo,  trans. by Lucia Mariani (Milan 2015). In 2010, I was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Emeritus Fellowship which resulted in Petrarch’s Famous Men in the Early Renaissance: The Illuminated Copies of Felice Feliciano’s Edition (London: The Warburg Institute, 2016). A number of my articles were published as Studies of Renaissance Miniaturists in Venice (London, 2003), and others since 2003 are listed on my CV, available through the link on this web page.

My areas of teaching included Italian Renaissance Painting and Sculpture; Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Illumination; and seminars on Venetian Renaissance Art and on topics in Italian Renaissance Sculpture. Each year at Wellesley, I also taught in the introductory Art History course, Art 101. 

I have served on the editorial boards of the periodicals Word and Image; and Rivista di Storia della Miniatura. I have been a consultant for the catalogue of 15th Century books in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (now “Bod-Inc on line”), also for a digitized catalogue of incunabula (books printed before the end of 1500) at Cambridge University Library, and for a "hard-copy" catalogue of incunabula in Cambridge University Colleges and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Presently I am a consultant to the 15cBOOKTRADE project and to MEI (Material Evidence in Incunabula), whose goal is to enter provenance information of the approximately 500,000 surviving books printed in Europe in the 15th century, into a web data base. I am pleased to have encouraged the Special Collections at the Wellesley College Library to participate in MEI. 

I enjoy travel, both for pleasure and for research in Rare Book Libraries, especially in Italy.  To ease my aching joints I do aqua aerobics. And I love good dinners with good friends.