I just happened to notice in this morning's edition of the Daily Poop that the 38th season of PBS's spectacular series, Nova, begins with an episode of interest for History of Art & Design I students especially. It may also spark fond memories among my HAD II students.
At any rate, the episode is called Building the Great Cathedrals and airs tonight at 8 pm locally on KERA. It will be repeated on Thursday the 21st (on KERA World) at 9 am, 3 pm, and 5 pm. The link takes you to the Nova page, which includes interactive features on the building process, engineering points, and the chemistry of stained glass. The program runs for 60 minutes (in answer to the perpetual whine, "how long is this movie?").
One of my loyal students whizzed by my classroom Friday night with a copy of The Secret of Kells on DVD. I've been waiting for this since before the Oscars last year (it was nominated for best animated feature, competing against the likes of Up!). So this weekend I ran out and snagged the Blu-Ray edition, which is just plain scrumptious. This has got to be one of the most beautiful animated films I've ever seen, and is directly related to the manuscript illumination segment of HAD I. The link is to the promotional trailer (I tried to embed it here but it was too wide, so I just linked it).
The features on the Blu-Ray include the director's discussion of inspirations--including Medieval manuscripts, Celtic designs, and even Gustav Klimt. If his remarks don't make art history worth knowing, nothing will.
Image credit: Chartres Cathedral, southern facade, by TTaylor, via Wikimedia Commons.