Abstract

The crowning of statues was a common practice in medieval cloisters, but at the north German convent of Wienhausen, the golden crowns of statues were confiscated by Observant reformers after the reformation of 1469. The nuns voiced distress at the loss of these crowns and made new Marian statues with elegant wooden crowns that were irremovable. The author puts the crowns worn by Mary in the context of the crowns worn by the nuns themselves and argues that such elaborate headdresses carried for the sisters many meanings; they include shaping female identity, signaling monastic commitment, and foreshadowing the rewards of heaven.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 18-40
Launched on MUSE
2015-03-01
Open Access
No
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