Fran Altvater
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Fran Altvater


Hillyer students often start unsure and blossom during their time with us.  I really like seeing what happens when the complicated combinations of time management, skill building and support, and curiosity come together for a student.  I really appreciate seeing them feel accomplished at the end of a class, a semester, or a degree program.


  • ARB 110: Introduction to Fine Arts I
  • ARB 111: Introduction to Fine Arts II
  • ARB 112: Introduction to Fine Arts III

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D. Boston University
  • M.A. Boston University
  • B.A. Swarthmore College

Research Interests

  • Medeival Art and Architecture
  • Medieval theology
  • Museum studies
  • Issues in collegiate teaching

Selected Publications 

  • Incarnation, Initiation, Institution: Sacramental Theology and the Decoration of Baptismal Fonts.  Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Forthcoming. 
  • “Chores, Computation, and the Coming: Calendar Images and Romanesque Baptismal Fonts”.  Studies in the Visual Culture of Baptism. Collected papers from panels presented at the 40th and 41st International Congresses on Medieval Studies. Ashgate Publishing. July 2013.  
  • “Saintly Bodies, Mortal Bodies: Hagiographic Decoration on English Twelfth Century Baptismal Fonts”.  Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture. Vol. III/No. 4, Autumn 2012.
  • “Barren Mother, Dutiful Wife, Church Triumphant: Medieval Illuminations of Hannah in I Kings”. Different Visions: A Journal of New Perspectives on Medieval Art., Issue 3, October 2011. 
  • “Words on the Wadsworth: Podcasting and the Teaching of Art History”. Journal of Effective Teaching, Vol. 9/3, October 2009. 
  • Invited member, reviewing team in Art and Architecture, Year’s Work in Old English Studies, 2004 to 2009, May 2013-present.