Eric Ramirez-Weaver headshot

Eric Matthew Ramirez-Weaver

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Art
Office location and address
303 Fayerweather Hall
151 Rugby Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
BA SUNY Fredonia, 1995
MA Philosophy, Syracuse University, 1998
MA Art History, Syracuse University, 2002
PhD Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 2008

I study the theological, philosophical, and scientific ideas that informed the creative decisions of artists living in eastern and western medieval cultures from the third to fifteenth centuries. Recent and forthcoming publications explore the intersection of art and science manifest by astronomical and philosophical illuminated manuscripts. Primary research interests include Carolingian manuscript illumination and late-Gothic painting at the Bohemian court in Prague.

My first book project, Saving Science: Capturing the Heavens in Carolingian Manuscripts will be available from Pennsylvania State University Press by January 2017. In that volume, I examine the complex processes of inspiration and acculturation at play in one luxury copy of an illustrated astronomical encyclopedia referred to as the Handbook of 809, assessing the significance of classically inspired, celestial imagery for a ninth-century Frankish prelate such as Bishop Drogo of Metz. In addition, the book offers a revisionist approach to the study of early medieval astronomical manuscripts, grounding the discussion in the various forms of artistry on display in medieval books. This project has benefited from generous financial support, including numerous grants from the University of Virginia, assistance from the Millard Meiss Publication Fund of the College Art Association, and a Samuel H. Kress Foundation Research Grant conferred in conjunction with the International Center of Medieval Art. A related essay, "Classical constellations in Carolingian codices: investigating the celestial imagery of Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 3307," appeared in an anthology from Ashgate, Negotiating Secular and Sacred in Medieval Art: Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist.

A second book project presently underway, Signs of Power: Astrology, Cosmology, and Philosophy in Late Medieval Prague, celebrates late medieval illuminated manuscripts devoted to astrology, astronomy, cosmology, and technology, which during a period of crisis for Wenceslas IV of Bohemia, arose like alchemical gold from the ashes. Two recent essays representative of these interests include, "Reading the Heavens: Revelation and Reification in the Astronomical Anthology for Wenceslas IV," Gesta 53.1 (2014), and "'So that you can understand this better': Art, Science, and Cosmology for Courtiers in William of Conches' Dragmaticon Philosophiae," Diagramm und Text, Diagrammatische Strukturen und die Dynamisierung von Wissen und Erfahrung, Überstorfer Colloquium 2012, ed. by Eckart Conrad Lutz, Vera Jerjen, and Christine Putzo (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2014). The book, Signs of Power, is being drafted during the 2015-16 academic year at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

AS-ARTD-IAS Fellowship for Eric Ramirez-Weaver
Source: Institute for Advanced Study
August 25, 2015 – June 30, 2016
ARTH 1503: Art and the Premodern World
Credits: 3
This course will train students to understand and critically evaluate comparative, premodern, global cultures.
ARTH 2153: Romanesque and Gothic Art
Credits: 3–4
From the Romanesque churches along the Pilgrimage Routes to the new Gothic architecture at St. Denis outside Paris and on to late medieval artistic production in Prague, this course examines profound and visually arresting expressions of medieval piety, devotion, and power made by artists from roughly 1000-1500. Throughout our investigations, particular attention will be paid to the contributions of important medieval women.
ARTH 2154: Early Medieval Art
Credits: 3–4
This course examines art created in the era from 300 to 1100, when early medieval artists, motivated by devotion to their faiths and scientific beliefs, crafted beautiful and refined visual expressions of their values. These crafted confessions in stone, paint, parchment, and metal provide the living historical records of a vibrant period, during which medieval artists asserted their various cultural identities.
MSP 3501: Exploring the Middle Ages
Credits: 3
Discussion and criticism of selected works of and on the period. Taught by different members of the medieval faculty.
ARTH 3591: Art History Colloquium
Credits: 3
The Art History Colloquium combines lecture and discussion. Subject varies with the instructor, who may decide to focus attention either on a particular period, artist, or theme, or on the broader question of the aims and methods of art history. Subject is announced prior to each registration period. This course fulfills the second writing requirement, involving at least two writing assignments totaling at a minimum 4,000 words (20 pages).
MSP 3801: Exploring the Middle Ages
Credits: 3
Discussion and criticism of selected works of and on the period. Taught by different members of the medieval faculty.
ARTH 3993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Independent study in the history of art
ARTH 4051: Art History: Theory and Practice
Credits: 3
This course introduces art history majors to the basic tools and methods of art historical research, and to the theoretical and historical questions of art historical interpretation. The course will survey a number of current approaches to the explanation and interpretation of works of art, and briefly address the history of art history. Prerequisite: Major or minor in art history.
MSP 4995: Capstone Project in Medieval Studies
Credits: 3
For advanced students dealing with methods of research in the field.
ARTH 4998: Undergraduate Thesis Research
Credits: 3
Research for a thesis of approximately 50 written pages undertaken in the fall semester of the fourth year by art history majors who have been accepted into the department's Distinguished Majors Program.
ARTH 4999: Undergraduate Thesis Writing
Credits: 3
Writing of a thesis of approximately 50 written pages undertaken in the spring semester of the fourth year by art history majors who have been accepted into the department's Distinguished Majors Program.
ARAH 8051: Theory and Interpretation in the Visual Arts
Credits: 3
Investigates problems in the theory and interpretation of the visual arts
ARAH 8695: Special Reading Problems
Credits: 3–12
Special Reading Problems
ARAH 8998: Non-Topical Rsch, Masters Prep
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
ARAH 8999: Non-Topical Research, Masters
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
ARAH 9515: Seminar in Medieval Art
Credits: 3
Investigates problems in medieval art
ARAH 9995: Supervised Research
Credits: 3–12
Supervised Research
ARAH 9998: Non-Topical Rsch,Doctoral Prep
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
ARAH 9999: Non-Topical Research, Doctoral
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.