This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Three Lectures Scheduled
For Nov. 18-19
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: Nov. 6, 1998

EAU CLAIRE — A three-part lecture series titled "Drinking, Dancing, Dames Sans Merci: Popular Culture in Germany at the Beginning of Luther's Reformation" will take place Nov. 18 and 19 in the Foster Gallery of the Haas Fine Arts Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
In a program designed to appeal to artists, educators and fans of German and church history, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Professor Alison Stewart will present woodcuts, prints, paintings and poetry that reflect life in 16th century Bavaria and Saxony.
Patricia Quinn, director of the Educational Opportunity Center and organizer of the lectures, said Stewart's lively program employs popular art as a means to view ordinary citizens' lives at a critical juncture of Christianity. The program draws upon Stewart's extensive original research during a 20-year period in European archives.
"Dr. Stewart's work sensitizes her audience to how popular images shape the way people think about themselves," Quinn said. "She also makes one aware how these images are intended by their creators and commissioners to subtly shape their behavior. Today, when the World Wide Web and other visually rich media supply us with so much information, it's important to understand the crafting of icons."
Stewart's work, through the medium of the past, raises issues that are vital to 21st century educators, students and citizens, Quinn said.
"Kermis: Country Fests of the 16th Century?" will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18. This lecture will focus on the church festivals called Kermis. Originally short liturgies in honor of a parish's patron saint, Kermis had blossomed into weeklong celebrations where feasting, flirting and fights took center stage, Quinn said. In this presentation, Steward uses prints by Nuremberg artists Sebald Beham and poetry by Hans Sachs.
At 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, Stewart will give a lecture titled "Unequal Lovers: Can Buy Me Love." Marriages forms the subject of this second lecture, in which the prints and paintings of Luther's friend, Lucas Cranach, among others, poke fun at some inappropriate matches.
"Women's Spinning Bees: Or Love Among the Distaffs," will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19. In this final lecture, Stewart will discuss Nuremberg spinning bees, occasions when women met in groups to create the thread from which the town's renowned linen was manufactured. Town fathers worried about the propriety of these gatherings, which often took place in tavern meeting rooms. In this presentation, Stewart uses works by artist Sebald Beham.
The College of Arts and Sciences, history department, art department, Academic Affairs office and the University Research office will sponsor the lectures.
All lectures are free and open to the public.

UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Nov. 6, 1998