Dr. Asa Simon Mittman

About Dr. Asa Simon Mittman

Asa Simon Mittman is Professor and Chair of Art and Art History at California State University, Chico, where he teaches Ancient and Medieval Art. He is author of Maps and Monsters in Medieval England (2006), co-author of Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders (2018, with Sherry C.M. Lindquist), and Inconceivable Beasts: The Wonders of the East in the Beowulf Manuscript (2013, with Susan Kim — awarded a Millard Meiss Publication Grant from the College Art Association and an ISAS Best Book Prize), and author and co-author of many articles on monstrosity and marginality in the Middle Ages, including pieces on Satan in the Junius 11 manuscript (Gesta, with Kim) and “race” in the Middle Ages (postmedieval). He edited the Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous (2012), and co-edited Monstrosity, Disability, and the Posthuman in the Medieval and Early Modern World (2019, with Rick Godden) and Classic Readings on Monster Theory: Demonstrare, Volume 1 and Primary Sources on Monsters: Demonstrare, Volume 2 (2018, with Marcus Hensel), and is the founding president of MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: the Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory And Practical Application) and a founding member of the Material Collective, an organization of medieval art historians. His research has been supported by CAA, ICMA, Kress, Mellon, American Philosophical Society, and NEH grants. He edits book series with Boydell and Brill. Mittman co-curated Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders at The Pierpont Morgan Library and Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Blanton Museum of Art (2018). Long range research interests include the Franks Casket and images of Jews on medieval maps.

Moko (photo: James Heremaia, license information)
There are two main types of shapes—geometric and organic.

Shape and Form

Proportion refers to the relationship of parts of a body or form to one another and of the parts to the whole.

Proportion and scale

Thumbnail, Akbar on horseback, hunting animals within an enclosure, illustration from the Akbarnama, c. 1590-95, Mughal Empire, India, opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 32.1 x 18.8 cm (Victoria and Albert Museum, London)
Movement refers to a sense of motion as the eye is guided through a work.


Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog: installation view with silver balloon, 1994-2001, transparent color coating, stainless steel, 320 x 380 x 120 cm (photo: Kim, © Jeff Koons)
Texture is the feeling of a surface, real or represented.


Sleave (detail), Raphael, La Donna velata, 1514-15, oil on canvas, 82 x 60.5 cm (Palazzi Pitti, Florence)
Space is used to refer to depth, real or represented.