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Tamra Brosseau

2001 Research

Abstract: Fin-de-siècle lighting in Spokane Washington, As represented in The Patsy Clark Mansion

Mentor: Dr. Seedorf, History

Documentation of historical lighting is just one small piece in the puzzle that leads us to unravel the mysteries of our architectural past. Historical architecture speaks of our past in a tangible way that sometimes can be lost in written records. Objects as historical records can tell us about the inhabitants of a structure and items can tell us what past inhabitants valued in technology and convenience. How well the objects were made and out of what materials can give us an understanding of the skill level the society at the time and area. An object can also shed light on what was considered beautiful in an earlier era. The colonial period for example, was dedicated to recreating simple English interiors. The American Victorian differed slightly from English Victorian period, but both were fraught with excess. Each of these periods tells us what was valued by the people of the time. By closely examining tangible objects from the past, we can piece together, along with other forms of documentation, our history. Research in the field of historic preservation allows us to document for future generations how architecture of the past functioned and how we can preserve it for the future.

2000 Research

Abstract: Michelangelo and the Reformation

Mentor: Dr. Ann Lebar, History Department

In this essay I would like to discuss the Protestant Reformation and its effects on Michelangelo's life and a select number of his works. Michelangelo, who lived from 1475 to 1567, witnessed great changes not only in Italy but in most of Europe as well. During his life many people had an influence on Michelangelo, but in this essay I will choose to limit my research to just two important people who had a tremendous impact on Michelangelo: Savonarola and Vittoria Colonna. I have chosen Savonarola because his preaching in Flroence, during Michelangelo's youth, has historical significance for its pre-reformational overtones. He was not the first man to take a stand against the Church for its weaknesses, but was one of the stepping-stones that helped pave the ay for men such as Martin Luther. Particularly interesting was his view on art in relation to worship. My research indicates that the impressions that were made on the young Michelangelo by Savonarola stayed with the artist throughout his life. Vittoria Colonna, the second person I researched, came late in Michelangelo's life. Her connections to the Reformation were strong, even though she remained a Catholic throughout her life. Her position as spiritual advisor and close personal friend to Michelangelo gave her a unique position in his life. Colonna's involvement in a group of widely respected and intellectual men that to some extant sympathized with the Protestants made her influence on Michelangelo an important aspect of this research.


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