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Pageants and Processions: Images and Idiom as Spectacle

Pageants and Processions: Images and Idiom as Spectacle (Hardback)

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Nowadays pageants often take the form of parades of effervescent young women competing for popular recognition in hyped up media events. However, these "beauty pageants" are a mere pastiche of the elaborate historical parades of the medieval period that took significant, social, religious, or civic events and their protagonists, as subjects. Pageants were historically characterized by resplendent costuming and elaborate processions that were often given to much pomp and ceremony. Pageantry has formed an important part of the civic life of most societies, both ancient and modern, serving a variety of cultural and political purposes. The use of drama and public spectacle as an instrument of civic, social, and religious activism has recently become the focus of renewed academic inquiry. The essays in this interdisciplinary anthology provide carefully researched insights into the phenomenon of pageantry over the centuries and across broad cultural boundaries.

Herman du Toit is Head of Museum Research at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art. He was awarded a J.Paul Getty Fellowship for his doctoral study of interpretive practices at American art museums. His research interests are focused primarily on art museum education and visitor studies. In addition to numerous articles, his book publications include: Art and Spirituality: The Visual Culture of Christian Faith (ed), (2008), and The Modernist-Utopian Art of Karl Momen, (2007).

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