Bayeux Tapestry at UNG

I’ll be speaking about the Bayeux Tapestry at the University of North Georgia a week from today, along with Kelly DeVries and Theresa Jesperson. On display from 11:00 to 4:00 will be a full-scale painted reproduction of this most important medieval artifact, on the second floor of the dining hall (at 404 Georgia Circle, Dahlonega, GA 30597) – apparently the only place on campus capacious enough to hold the whole thing! The evening program starts at 5:00 p.m., with words from Bonita Jacobs, president of UNG, and Judge Edd Wheeler, who financed the painting in the first place and whose decision it was to move the tapestry from West Georgia to UNG. Also present will be people from the Northeast Georgia History Center in historical costume.

I was pleased to discover today via Facebook an animated Bayeux Tapestry done by some students at Goldsmiths College. On account of my recent research I have come to realize that it’s unlikely that the Tapestry originally depicted Harold shot with an arrow in the eye, contrary to what I said last fall. Examination of the fabric reveals that the soldier (who might not even be Harold) was probably originally holding a spear pointing outwards, which at some point was changed to an arrow pointing inwards – the idea being that traitors were likely to meet such a fate. See a blog post by Mercedes Rochelle for more.

Something else from my reading: the frontispiece to Sir Frank Stenton’s “Comprehensive Survey” of the Bayeux Tapestry, published in 1957. I thought this was clever and edifying.