Charles Loring Elliott, Portrait of Matthew Vassar, 1861

In the News

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center's innovative exhibition Space, Time, and Narrative: Mapping Gothic France now extended through June 10, 2012.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College will present the innovative and engaging exhibition, Space, Time, and Narrative: Mapping Gothic France, on view from March 23 to June 10, 2012.

Curator Andrew Tallon, assistant professor of art at Vassar College, noted that: “viewers will be invited to experience Gothic architecture in the parallel dimensions of space, time, and narrative through texts, large-scale digital projections, and interactive virtual-reality images.” A series of projected images will transform the atrium of the Art Center into a “virtual” cathedral.

Assisting Tallon in the creation of the exhibition are Ani Kodzhabasheva (Vassar class of 2012) and the students from Tallon’s spring semester seminar in Medieval Architecture.

This exhibition will mark the public launch of Mapping Gothic France (, developed as a four-year joint project between Tallon and Columbia University professor Stephen Murray, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The website features a database of over 10,000 images, texts, and historical maps that will allow users to understand the great architectural achievements of the 12th and 13th centuries in France in tandem with the key geopolitical developments of the era.

On Thursday, March 22, there will be an exhibition preview and reception from 6:00-9:00pm at the Art Center. Students from Tallon’s seminar will be stationed throughout the exhibition to interpret the works of art for the public. The student ensemble, the Vassar Camerata, directed by Michael Hofmann (Vassar class of 2013), will perform musical selections by Machaut and de la Halle. All events are free and open to the public.

About Mapping Gothic France

The four-year Mapping Gothic France ( project was initiated by Andrew Tallon, Assistant Professor of Art at Vassar College and Stephen Murray, Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and funded through the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The website is designed for use as an educational and research tool by students and scholars. It provides the user with “new ways to understand the relationship of hundreds of buildings conventionally described as ‘Gothic’—in terms of sameness and difference, found in the forms of multiple buildings within a defined period of time and space that corresponds to the advent of the nation of France,” according to its creators. In 2010, the website received Horizon Interactive Award.

Murray and Tallon noted that, “Whereas pictures can be satisfactorily represented in two dimensions on a computer screen, space—especially Gothic space—demands a different approach, one which embraces not only the architectonic volume but also time and narrative. Mapping Gothic France builds upon a theoretical framework derived from the work of Henri Lefèbvre (The Production of Space) that seeks to establish linkages between the architectural space of individual buildings, geo-political space, and the social space resulting from the interaction (collaboration and conflict) between multiple agents—builders and users.”

Mapping Gothic France was developed within the framework of collaboration between the Media Center for Art History in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, the Visual Resources Library at Vassar College, and the Columbia University Libraries. 

Exhibition Events

Thursday, March 22
Exhibition preview and reception
Art Center Atrium
The preview will feature a performance of period music, including works by by Machaut and de la Halle, by the student ensemble, The Vassar Camerata, directed by Michael Hofmann ’13.

About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building's primary donor, opened in 1993. The Art Center's collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 18,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and glass and ceramic wares. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college's inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American 20th- century painters. Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with a permanent art collection and gallery, and at any given time, the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Art Center feature approximately 350 works from Vassar's extensive collections.

Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free. The Art Center is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10:00am–5:00pm; Thursday, 10:00am–9:00pm; and Sunday, 1:00–5:00pm. Located at the entrance to the historic Vassar College campus, the Art Center can be reached within minutes from other Mid-Hudson cultural attractions, such as Dia:Beacon, the Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt national historic sites and homes, and the Vanderbilt mansion. The Art Center is wheelchair accessible. For additional information, the public may call(845) 437-5632 or visit

Directions to the Vassar campus are available at Vassar is located at 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, February 20, 2012


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