I’m an American living in the north of Italy, currently working as a teacher of Geography and English. In a previous life, I was an art history professor. The Owl in the Pulpit is both a glimpse into my life and a place where I do one of the things I still love best: write about art. It may be that personal posts interspersed with art historical ones make for a strange admixture, but to me the combination of the two is completely natural. My earlier intellectual development as an art historian has so conditioned how I experience the world that it would be artificial for me not to write about art when writing about my life.
The owl of the title is a small, low-relief sculpture in the cathedral of a southern town where I lived for many years. Authors of medieval bestiaries portrayed owls as eschewing the light of day and spending their waking hours wandering around tombs, a characterization that makes me feel some affinity with them, given as I am to exploring darkened old churches and palazzi, their air thick with the passage of centuries.
(For more about the owl, see its bestiary entry.)