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Feb. 28, 2013

CSU partners with CMA for lecture series

By Kelsey Smith

Cleveland State University is partnering with the Cleveland Museum of Art for the museum’s spring lecture series and accompanying exhibition. “The Caporali Missal: A Masterpiece of Renaissance Illumination” and it’s corresponding lecture series will explore the missal that was designed by the Caporali brothers at the beginning of the Renaissance. 

The “Caporali Missal” is a book used during the celebration of mass that was made for the Franciscan community in Montone, Italy in 1469. The Cleveland Museum of Art acquired the missal in 2006, and is using this exhibit to present it to the public for the first time. The museum is bringing in other works that showcase the careers of the Caporali brothers and their work with the Franciscans. Many of these works are lent by museums around the world and have never been displayed in the United States prior to this exhibition.

In addition to taking part in the lecture series, CSU is also co-sponsoring the events.

“CSU became involved in the ‘Caporali Missal’ exhibition through the offices of Michael J. Tevesz, who at that time was Director for Sacred Landmarks in the College of Urban Affairs,” Saeko Yamamoto, communications manager for the Cleveland Museum of Art, said.  “Dr. Tevesz took immediate interest in the museum’s acquisition of the missal in 2006, and actually traveled to Italy to find its original location, the Church of San Francesco in Montone.”

Through Tevesz, the exhibition’s organizing curator, Stephen Fliegel, was introduced to other CSU faculty members, and a partnership evolved. A committee of faculty members was formed and they eagerly began working on planning the series.

“It [the ‘Caporali Missal’] is, first of all, a beautiful object with intrinsic art historical significance,” Dr. Matt Jackson-McCabe, chair of the department of religious studies, said. “The fact that we know so much about where it came from, precisely when it was produced, by whom, and for whom also makes it a very significant source for social history in general and history of religions in particular. It really is an ideal object for interdisciplinary study.”

In addition to the exhibition, museum-goers will also have the opportunity to attend lectures related to the missal and its related artwork. Lectures will be given by museum curators, experts in Franciscan history, and professors from area universities, including a panel discussion with CSU faculty members. The lectures focus on the different ways the missal can be interpreted.

With the successful results of this partnership, CSU and CMA are looking to work together more in the future, a relationship that will benefit both organizations.

“The series represents the beginning of what will hopefully be a new form of partnership and collaboration between CMA and CSU,” Jackson-McCabe said. “This has been a positive experience for both institutions, and the hope is that it will be the first of many such collaborations between these two great Cleveland institutions.”

The Caporali exhibit will be on display until June 2, 2013 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The first lecture will take place on March 3, and the series will run until May at the museum and at CSU. To RSVP or for more information, visit http://csuohio.edu/class/caporali.