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Department of History of Art



Sommer Hallquist is a PhD candidate in the History of Art at the University of Cambridge, supervised by Dr. Laura Slater. Her thesis focuses on the St. John’s College, Cambridge manuscript K.21, produced in England at the turn of the fourteenth century for the monks of St. Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury. Her project situates this illuminated volume within the understudied devotional milieu of late-medieval English Benedictines. Her research has been generously funded by grants from the British Archaeological Association, Trinity Hall, and the James and Lucilla Joll Trust.

Sommer completed an MPhil at the University of Cambridge in 2019, with a dissertation on the form, colouration, and expressed materiality of the Tomb of Christ in English manuscript painting c.1100-1400. This work was supported by the Lord Frederick Cavendish Studentship. Sommer obtained her BA in Art History and Anthropology from the University of Alabama in 2018 and has a background in Southeastern North American archaeology of the periods coinciding with the European Middle Ages. Her current research interests lie in the role of the image in late-medieval Benedictine devotion and the influence of the monastic Orders upon parochial art and architecture in late-medieval England.


Key publications: 

“Liturgical Luxury as the Devil’s Bait,” in Book Ornament and Luxury Critique, ed. Thomas Rainer and David Ganz (Berlin: De Gruyter, Forthcoming early 2024).

“Hanging by a medieval thread? Textile curtains in St. John’s Manuscripts.” Archaeological Textiles Review 65, no. 1 (Forthcoming January 2024).

“A Reassessment of the Fourteenth-Century Wall Paintings at St. Mary’s, Chalgrove.” Oxoniensia LXXXVII, no. 1 (December 2022): 27-44.

PhD Student