Church, Home, and Museum: The Recontextualization of German Gothic Wood Sculpture
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In my research I investigate the resurgence of the Gothic style, particularly through the display of German wood sculpture. I explore this topic in three discrete sections delineated by time and space: medieval Germany, nineteenth-century Germany, and turn of the twentieth-century America. The collectors and curators in all three contexts used German Gothic wood sculpture as a means to connect to or embody an ideal world outside their own. Where and how these patrons decided to order their 'collections constructed how they perceived the purpose of these objects. In turn these objects became as idealized representations of the patron. As the environment of the sculpture changed from religious institutions, to private homes, and then to museums, the appeal to create an emotive ambiance remained important to those displaying the artwork. How they arranged works of art became the patron's tool for this purpose; object placement allowed the patron to create an image of their ideal world, whether for the spiritual, romantic, or traditional aspirations.