Adelaide Bennett Hagens

Poster for "Recollections of the Past" Symposium (May 2014) with borderAdelaide Bennett Hagens
Art Historian

Here is Adelaide’s Page.  Following her retirement from the Index of Christian Art at Princeton University on 1 July 2016, we celebrate her accomplishments with a Page on our website, with thanks for her continuing service to the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence as Trustee and with appreciation for her generous contributions over decades to the fields of medieval studies, manuscript studies, and more.

Formerly the website of the Index of Christian Art had a place to record Adelaide’s research interests and specialties, among the pages for its Staff (via, no longer online).  Now, on the website of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence, a gathering of information begins to appear here.


The notice in the New York Times for 19 August 1979 reports the marriage of Adelaide Louise Bennett to Herbert Orland Hagens of Princeton, and offers some brief biographical and educational background:

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ward L. Bennett of Baltimore. A cum laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she has master’s and Ph.D. degrees in art history from Columbia University. Her father is a retired automotive engineer.

Following the completion of the Ph.D., with a dissertation on a 13th-century Bible manuscript at Princeton University, Adelaide joined the staff of the Index of Christian Art, where she stayed for 50 years.  While there, she moved through the positions of Research Assistant, Research Associate, Research Staff, Research Art Historian and Editor, and Research Art Historian / Research Scholar.  Between the directorships of Colum Hourihane (1996–2014) and Pamela Patton (2015–), she served also as the Acting Director.  Now, settling into retirement, she returns to research, one of her main “loves” — along with Herbert, that is.

From There to Here

2 Princeton Trustees of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence. 7 December 2015. Photography © Mildred Budny.

2 Princeton Trustees of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence. Adelaide Bennett and Giles Constable. 7 December 2015. Photography © Mildred Budny.

Some Publications
— All under the name “Adelaide Bennett”

Here we cite some of her publications, and we would be glad to add more.

Please let us know if there remain some that we have missed, and we look forward to the next ones to emanate from her pen, pencil, or laptop.

1. Book

Medieval  & Renaissance Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library, by Don C. Skemer, incorporating contributions by Adelaide Bennett, Jean F. Preston, William P. Stoneman, and the Index of Christian Art (2013, 2 volumes).

2. Catalogue Booklet

A Summary Guide to Western Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Princeton University, by Adelaide Bennett, Jean F. Preston and William P. Stoneman, (Princeton, 1991).

3. Catalogue Entries

Catalogue entries for two manuscripts in the exhibition catalogue, Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold 800-1475, with contributions by Adelaide Bennett and others (Leuven: Brepols Publisher, 2002), pp. 182–183 (New York, Morgan Library, MS M. 730, Psalter–Hours), and pp. 214–216 (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS nouv. acq. fr. 16251, Meditation Book of Madame Marie).

4. Articles

“The Chambly Hours: A Diminutive French Book of Hours of the Fourteenth Century (Ms. 2010-115) in the Princeton University Art Museum”, in Manuscripta Illuminata: Approaches to Understanding Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, edited by Colum Hourihane (2014), pp. 240–258, color pl. on p. 240, and color figs. 1–20.

“Some Perspectives on the Origins of Books of Hours in France in the Thirteenth Century,” in Books of Hours Reconsidered, ed. Sandra Hindman and James H. Marrow.  Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History (London and Turnhout:  Harvey Miller Publishers, 2013), pp. 19–40, figs. 1–16, and color pls. 1–8.

“Issues of Female Patronage: French Books of Hours, 1220–1320”, in Patronage: Power & Agency in Medieval Art, edited by Colum Hourihane.  The Index of Christian Art, Occasional Papers, XV (University Park, PA: Index of Christian Art, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University in association with Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013), pp. 233–255 and color figs. 1–18.

“Making Literate Lay Women Visible:  Text and Image in French and Flemish Books of Hours, 1220-1320,” in Thresholds of Medieval Visual Culture: Liminal Spaces, edited by Elina Gertsman and Jill Stevenson (Rochester, NY:  Boydell and Brewer, 2012), pp. 125–158 and figs. 1–14.

“A French Cleric’s Prayer Book-Hours of the Early Thirteenth Century,” in Tributes to Nigel Morgan; Contexts of Medieval Art:  Images, Objects, and Ideas, edited by Julian Luxford and Michael A. Michael (London and Turnhout: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2010), pp. 23–32 and figs. 1–2.

“Leaves of a Fourteenth-Century, Franco–Flemish Antiphonary Owned by John Ruskin (1819–1900),” in Tributes to Lucy Freeman Sandler: Studies in Illuminated Manuscripts, edited by Kathryn Smith and Carol Krinsky (London and Turnhout: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2008),  pp. 235–251 and figs. 1–6.

“Christ’s Five Wounds in the Aves of the Vita Christi in a Book of Hours around 1300,” in Tributes in Honor of James H. Marrow:  Studies in Painting and Manuscript Illumination of the Late Middle Ages and Northern Renaissance, edited by Jeffrey F. Hamburger and Anne Korteweg (Turnhout: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2006), pp. 75–84 and figs. 1–6.

“Devotional Literacy of a Noblewoman in a Book of Hours of ca. 1300 in Cambrai,” in Manuscripts in Transition: Recycling Manuscripts, Texts and Images, edited by Brigitte Dekeyzer and Jan Van der Stock. Corpus of Illuminated Manuscripts, 13 (Turnhout, 2005), pp. 149–157.

“David’s Written and Pictorial Biography in a Thirteenth-Century French Psalter–Hours”, in Between the Picture and the Word: Essays in Commemoration of John Plummer, edited by Colum Hourihane (University Park, PA:  Penn State University Press, 2005), pp. 122–140.

“The Transformation of the Gothic Psalter in Thirteenth-Century France,” in The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose and Placement of its Images, edited by Frank O. Büttner (Turnhout, 2004),  pp. 211–221  [publication from the International Conference on Psalters in Bamberg, Universität, 1999].

“Commemoration of Saints in Suffrages:  From Public Liturgy to Private Devotion,” in Objects, Images, and the Word: Art in the Service of the Liturgy, ed. Colum Hourihane, Index of Christian Art, Occasional Papers 6, (Princeton, 2003), pp. 54–78.

“Continuity and Change in the Religious Book Culture of the Lowlands in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries,” in Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold 800-1475 (Leuven, 2002), pp. 166–179.

“Mary Magdalen’s Seven Deadly Sins in a Thirteenth-Century Liège Psalter–Hours”, in Insights and Interpretations: Studies in Celebration of the Eighty-fifth Anniversary of the Index of Christian Art, edited by Colum Hourihane (Princeton: Index of Christian Art, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University, in association with Princeton University Press: 2002), pp. 17–34 and figs. 1–9.

“A Woman’s Power of Prayer versus the Devil in a Book of Hours of ca. 1300”, in Image and Belief: Studies in Celebration of the Eightieth Anniversary of the Index of Christian Art, edited by Colum Hourihane (1999), pp. 89–108.

“A Thirteenth-Century French Book of Hours for Marie”, The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, 53 (1996), pp. 21–50.

“The Scheide Psalter-Hours,” Princeton University Library Chronicle, 45:2 (1994), pp. 177–223
— also published separately in a book, The Same Purposeful Instinct: Essays in Honor of William H. Scheide, edited by William P. Stoneman (Princeton, 1994).

“La Bibbia di Bagnoregio,” in Il Gotico europeo in Italia, edited by Valentino Pace and Martina Bagnoli (Naples, 1994), pp. 403–414.

“The Recalcitrant Wife in the Ramsey Abbey Psalter” in Equally in God’s Image: Women in the Middle Ages, edited by Julia Bolton Holloway, Constance S. Wright, and Joan Bechtold (New York: Peter Lang, 1990), pp. 40–45.

“A Book Designed for a Noblewoman: An Illustrated Manuel des Péchés,”  in Medieval Book Production: Assessing the Evidence (Proceedings of the Second Conference of the Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500, Oxford, July 1988), ed. Linda L. Brownrigg (Los Altos Hills, Anderson–Lovelace:  1990), pp. 163–181 and figs. 1–12.

“Anthony Bek’s Copy of Statuta Angliae,” England in the Fourteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1985 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. W. M. Ormrod (Woodbridge, Suffolk, Boydell & Brewer:  1986), pp. 1–27.

“A Late Thirteenth-Century Psalter-Hours from London,” England in the Thirteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1984 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. W. M. Ormrod (Woodbridge, Suffolk, Boydell & Brewer: 1985), pp. 15–30.

“Noah’s Recalcitrant Wife in the Ramsey Abbey Psalter,” Source, 2 (1982), pp. 2–5.

“The Windmill Psalter: the Historiated Letter E of Psalm One,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 43 (1980), pp. 52–67.

“The Place of Garrett 28 in Thirteenth-Century Illumination” (Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1973).

“Additions to the William of Devon Group,” The Art Bulletin 54 (1972), pp. 31–40.

5. Reviews

Review of Michelle Brown, The Holkham Picture Bible (2007) in Speculum, 85:1 (2010), pp. 147–149.

Review of Kathleen L. Scott, general editor, An Index of Images in English Manuscripts from the Time of Chaucer to Henry VIII, c. 1380 – c. 1509:  The Bodleian Library, Oxford, 3 vols., in Studies in Iconography, 24 (2003), pp. 265–269.

Review of Eleanor Simmons, Les Heures de Nuremberg (Paris, 1994),” in Studies in Iconography, 18 (1997), pp. 269–274.

Review of William M. Voelkle and Roger S. Wieck, The Bernard H. Breslauer Collection of Manuscript Illuminations (New York, 1992), in Studies in Iconography, 15 (1993), pp. 270–274.

Review of Lucy F. Sandler, The Psalter of Robert de Lisle, Speculum, 62 (1987), pp. 985–989.

Review of Margaret M. Manion and Vera F. Vines, Medieval and Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts in Australian Collections, in Speculum, 62 (1987), pp. 442–443.

Review Article of Lucy F. Sandler, The Peterborough Psalter in Brussels & Other Fenland Manuscripts, in The Art Bulletin, 64 (1982), pp. 502–508.

6. Abstracts of Papers for the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence

The Abstracts of the Papers which Adelaide has presented at Symposia and other events of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence are listed among our Abstracts Listed by Year.  They are, with the Abstracts published in the Programs or Program Booklets for the Events:

“Liturgical Aspects of Early Books of Hours” (1998 Symposium).  Abstract here

“Recollections of a Dismembered French Book of Hours of the Early Fourteenth Century” (2014 Symposium Program Booklet) Booklet and 2 color pls. on the Poster (shown here)

Adelaide Bennett presents a paper on the contents of a despoiled French Book of Hours, with a conjectured reconstruction.

At the 2014 Seminar.

Examples include her poignant “Recollections of a Dismembered French Book of Hours of the Early Fourteenth Century”, for the 2014 Symposium at Princeton University on “Recollections of the Past: Editorial & Artistic Workshops from Late Antiquity to Early Modernity & Beyond”; the Program Booklet with Abstracts can be downloaded freely here. Courtesy of Adelaide Bennett, illustrations of pages from that dismembered Book of Hours appear on the Poster for the event.

Poster for 2014 Symposium on 'Recollections of the Past', laid out in the RGME font Bembino and illustrated with 2 images from a dismembered Book of Hours. Images courtesy of Adelaide Bennett


Happiness:  Meetings Again, Dismembered Manuscripts Included

P.S. Qualified Happiness, Be It Noted.  Wish They Hadn’t Cut Up The Book!

#OrphansHopingForAForeverHome. Our new hashtag.

Adelaide Bennett holds up the newly presented leaf from a dismembered Book of Hours which she saw, while still whole, years ago.

The New Leaf (22 June 2016)

Voyages of Discovery

We look forward to hearing about Adelaide’s continuing researches and explorations as well as her cruises to foreign lands.


We thank the photographer, Mildred Budny, for the images of Adelaide at work and at play.  We give thanks to Adelaide Bennett Hagens for her advice, encouragement, support, and friendship throughout the years, both for individual and collective scholarship, and for the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence.

We wish her a long and happy life in retirement with her books, friends, and Herbert.