Mila Grgas ‘24
Major: Art History and Visual Arts (Film)
Bio: Hello! I am Mila Grgas and I'm a Sophomore at Fordham Lincoln Center studying Art History and Film under Visual Arts. I have had an interest in photography for a while, like many in the digital age, and I really enjoy integrating my various interests into my art. I hope to achieve this in these photos by blending my appreciation for medieval art and my perspective as a feminist scholar.
Title of Research: The Cult of the Virgin: A Modern Book of Hours
Mentor: Prof. Amie Cunat, Department of Visual Arts
Abstract: The Cult of the Virgin is the specific level of devotion, which has both entranced and diminished members of the Christian faith, specifically women. Through a series of photographs and collages, I not only aim to create new relationships to the image of the Virgin Mary, but also address her lasting legacy. I want my viewer to focus on the significance and the relevance of her influence on art, aesthetics, and women. In order to do this, I will utilize the Books of Hours that are currently in Fordham University’s collection and investigate how her image can be reclaimed through art to foster new perceptions.
In addition to this, my project will also explore Books of Hours, which are devoted to Mary and are a vital part of the history of the Cult of the Virgin. I will analyze images of the Virgin across different cultures, but specifically those present in Northern Europe, where Books of Hours were prevalent, and in South American tradition, where the Virgin had grown in popularity in part for her association with indigenous pagan goddesses. It will also draw inspiration from other places, such as Tibet, where hand held prayer books are adorned in a similar way to Books of Hours.