Sarah Thompson Headshot

Sarah Thompson

Associate Professor
School of Art
College of Art and Design

585-475-4459
Office Hours
Tuesdays 2-4
Office Location

Sarah Thompson

Associate Professor
School of Art
College of Art and Design

Education

BA, University of California at San Diego; MA, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara

Bio

Dr. Thompson's research addresses concepts of Gothic, and she has published on medieval architectural design process, the role of Saint-Denis as a French national monument, and the functions of Gothic ruins. With Jennifer Feltman (University of Alabama), she is the coeditor of The Long Lives of Medieval Art and Architecture (Routledge, 2019). Her current book project analyzes the postmedieval visual representation of Gothic architecture. 

585-475-4459

Personal Links

Currently Teaching

ARTH-558
3 Credits
This class covers the Gothic Revival of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Issues to be examined include the question of stylistic revival vs. stylistic survival; the origin and meanings of Gothic as a stylistic category; the impact of antiquarianism on the Gothic Revival in the 18th century; Gothic and 18th century modes of vision; Gothic in the private and public spheres; Gothic's associations with science, gender, nationalism, and morality; the Gothic Revival and the Pre Raphaelites, and major figures within the movement such as A.W.N. Pugin and John Ruskin.
ARTH-136
3 Credits
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from the European Renaissance through the beginning of the twentieth century, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look and how to describe and analyze what we see, and to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors.
ARTH-563
3 Credits
Students will explore the history of world architecture from the late nineteenth century to the present. Issues to be considered include the definition of modern as it applies to the built environment; new building types; historicism; stylistic movements; urban development; housing; modern materials; critical theory and its impact on design; and architectural representation.
ARTH-135
3 Credits
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from prehistory through the Middle Ages, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look, how to describe and analyze what we see, and how to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors.
ARTH-688
3 Credits
This class covers the Gothic Revival of the 18th, 19th, 20th, and centuries. Issues to be examined include the question of stylistic revival vs. stylistic survival; the origin and meanings of Gothic as a stylistic category; the impact of antiquarianism on the Gothic Revival in the eighteenth century; Gothic and 18th-century modes of vision; Gothic in the private and public spheres; Gothic 's associations with science, gender, nationalism, and morality; the Gothic Revival and the Pre-Raphaelites, and major figures within the movement such as A.W.N. Pugin and John Ruskin.
ARTH-663
3 Credits
In this course, we will explore the history of world architecture from the late nineteenth century to the present. Issues to be considered include the definition of modern as it applies to the built environment; new building types; historicism; stylistic movements; urban development; housing; modern materials; critical theory and its impact on design; and architectural representation.
ARTH-544
3 Credits
Students in this course will examine the history of illuminated manuscripts, learning about the working methods of artists as well as the cultural significance of the illuminated book. Issues of production, style, function, and patronage will be introduced, and students will explore the relationships between images, texts, and readers.
ARTH-655
3 Credits
A critical examination of a select theme within the field of medieval art and architecture. A subtopic description will be posted each term the course is offered. This course may be repeated for credit, but students may not repeat a topic.
ARTH-555
3 Credits
A critical examination of a select theme within the field of medieval art and architecture. A subtopic description will be posted each term the course is offered. This course may be repeated for credit, but students may not repeat a topic.
IDEA-150
1 - 3 Credits
This course will introduce students to selected topics in the areas of art and design. The course content will vary according to topic. A topic course description will be published each term the course is offered. Students may take this course multiple times with different topics.

Select Scholarship

Book Chapter
Thompson, Sarah. "The Power of Absence: The Missing North Tower at Saint-Denis." The Long Lives of Medieval Art and Architecture. Ed. Sarah Thompson and Jennifer Feltman. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2019. 297-316. Print.
Thompson, Sarah. "Building Brick City: The Design of RIT’s Henrietta Campus." Transforming the Landscape: 50 years on the New RIT Campus. Ed. Becky Simmons. Rochester, NY: RIT Press, 2018. 1-13. Print.
Published Review
Thompson, Sarah. Rev. of The Lithic Garden: Nature and the Transformation of the Medieval Church, by Mailan S. Doquang. The Medieval Review 11 Aug. 2019: 19.08.11. Web.
Thompson, Sarah. "Review: Space in the Medieval West: Places, Territories, and Imagined Geographies." Rev. of Space in the Medieval West: Places, Territories, and Imagined Geographies, eds. Meredith Cohen and Fanny Madeline. Speculum Apr. 2015: 530-531. Print.
Thompson, Sarah. "Review: Irish Gothic Architecture: Construction, Decay, and Reinvention." Rev. of Irish Gothic Architecture: Construction, Decay, and Reinvention, ed. Stalley, Roger. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 Dec. 2014: 517-519. Print.
Thompson, Sarah. "Review: The Symbol at Your Door." Rev. of The Symbol at Your Door: Number and Geometry in Religious Architecture of the Greek and Latin Middle Ages, by Hiscock, Nigel. CAA Reviews 19 Apr. 2013: NA. Web.
Thompson, Sarah. "New Approaches to Medieval Architecture." Rev. of New Approaches to Medieval Architecture, eds. Clark, William W., Bork, Robert, and McGehee, Abby. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Sep. 2012: 416-418. Print.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Thompson, Sarah. "Between Materiality and Ephemerality: Popular Representations of Gothic Architecture in the Late 18th Century." International Medieval Congress. University of Leeds. Leeds, UK. 1 Jun. 2019. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "Expanding the Temporal Frame at Notre-Dame d’Étampes." Sewanee Medieval Colloquium. University of the South. Sewanee, TN. 12 Apr. 2019. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "Parish Rivalry in Medieval Étampes." International Congress on Medieval Studies. Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo, MI. 11 May 2019. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "Memory and Loss at Saint-Denis in the Age of Louis-Philippe." International Medieval Congress. University of Leeds. Leeds, UK, UK. 4 Jul. 2018. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "La réalité d’un chantier médiévale at Saint-Denis." Medieval Academy of America annual meeting. Medieval Academy of America. Atlanta, GA. 2 Mar. 2018. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah and Maile Hutterer. "Decoding Destruction and Decay." College Art Association Annual Meeting. College Art Association. New York, NY. 16 Feb. 2017. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "The Power of Absence: The Missing North Tower of Saint-Denis." International Congress on Medieval Studies. Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo, MI. 14 May 2016. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "From Romanesque to Gothic: Difference and Change in Medieval Architecture." 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies. Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo, MI. 14 May 2015. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "The State, the People, and the First Gothic Building: Saint-Denis from Private to Public." College Art Association Annual Meeting. CAA. New York, NY. 6 Feb. 2015. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "'Soi-disant gothicisms': The Rejection of Gothic Hybridity in the Nineteenth Century." Annual Meeting. College Art Association. Chicago, IL. 12 Feb. 2014. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "Portals and the Public: Sculpture, Difference, and Institutional Identity in the Middle Ages." Kern Conference on Visual Communication. RIT. Rochester, NY. 24 Apr. 2014. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "Gothic as a Moral Force at Angela Burdett-Coutts's Columbia Square Housing Project." International Medieval Congress. Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo, MI. 11 May 2013. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "Chartres and the Concept of Gothic." International Congress on Medieval Studies. Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo, MI. 12 May 2012. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "The Origins of Gothic Design Process." Society of Architectural Historians 2012 Conference. Society of Architectural Historians. Detroit, MI. 20 Apr. 2012. Conference Presentation.
Thompson, Sarah. "Tracing Twelfth-Century French Builders." College Art Association Annual Meeting. College Art Association. Los Angeles, CA. 25 Feb. 2012. Conference Presentation.
Journal Paper
Thompson, Sarah. "Adaptation and Audience: Remodeling Notre-Dame d'Étampes in the Thirteenth Century." AVISTA Forum Journal 22. (2012): 57-70. Print.