B.A. Wellesley College, M.A. Radcliffe College, Ph.D. Columbia University
Lilian ArmstrongMildred Lane Kemper Professor Emerita of Art
Retired from teaching, but continues work on book history, focusing on 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 great 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 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); and co-authored with Piero Scapecchi and Federica Toniolo, Gli Incunaboli della Biblioteca del Seminario Vescovile di Padova: Catalogo e Studi, (Padua, 2008). A number of my articles were published as Studies of Renaissance Miniaturists in Venice (London, 2003). In 2010, I was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Emeritus Fellowship to pursue research on illustrated manuscripts and an early printed edition of Francesco Petrarca's long historical text, De viris illustribus (On Famous Men).
I am on the editorial boards of the periodicals Word and Image; and Rivista di Storia della Miniatura. I also am a consultant for a new 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 Colleges and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Earlier I consulted on a similar catalogue of 15th Century books in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
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.