Medieval Art in Motion The Inventory and Gift Giving of Queen Clémence de Hongrie

Mariah Proctor-Tiffany

In this visually rich volume, Mariah Proctor-Tiffany reconstructs the art collection and material culture of the fourteenth-century French queen Clémence de Hongrie, illuminating the way the royal widow gave objects as part of a deliberate strategy to create a lasting legacy for herself and her family in medieval Paris.

After the sudden death of her husband, King Louis X, and the loss of her promised income, young Clémence fought for her high social status by harnessing the visual power of possessions, displaying them, and offering her luxurious objects as gifts. Clémence adeptly performed the role of queen, making a powerful argument for her place at court and her income as she adorned her body, the altars of her chapels, and her dining tables with sculptures, paintings, extravagant textiles, manuscripts, and jewelry—the exclusive accoutrements of royalty. Proctor-Tiffany analyzes the queen’s collection, maps the geographic trajectories of her gifts of art, and interprets Clémence’s generosity using anthropological theories of exchange and gift giving.

Engaging with the art inventory of a medieval French woman, this lavishly illustrated microhistory sheds light on the material and social culture of the late Middle Ages. Scholars and students of medieval art, women’s studies, digital mapping, and the anthropology of ritual and gift giving especially will welcome Proctor-Tiffany’s meticulous research.

Proctor-Tiffany cover


  • $89.95 cloth, 978-0-271-08112-0
  • $89.95 ebook
  • 232 pages
  • 63 illus., 28 in color, 8 x 10 in.

about the author

Mariah Proctor-Tiffany is associate professor of art history at California State University, Long Beach, where she teaches courses in medieval and Islamic art and architecture, and in the cross-cultural exchange of objects. She has been the recipient of numerous research fellowships, including a Samuel H. Kress Travel Fellowship that funded her dissertation research in Paris, a Manning Graduate Dissertation Fellowship, and awards from the Medieval Studies program and the Graduate School of Brown University.

Before coming to Long Beach, she taught at Rhode Island School of Design, and she worked in New York City at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and at The Cloisters.

Current projects include a volume of essays that emerged from three ICMA-sponsored sessions she co-chaired with Tracy Chapman Hamilton called Moving Women, Moving Objects. Additionally she has begun working on the patronage of another female collector, Doris Duke, and her Islamic art collection at Shangri La, Duke’s home in Hawai’i. Dr. Proctor-Tiffany was also a fellow at the Samuel H. Kress Digital Mapping and Art History Institute at Middlebury College, and she is creating digital resources to support her work both in the Middle Ages and the twentieth century.