Professor Hamburger's teaching and research focus on the art of the High and later Middle Ages. Among his areas of special interest are medieval manuscript illumination, text-image issues, the history of attitudes towards imagery and visual experience, and German vernacular religious writing of the Middle Ages, especially in the context of mysticism. Beginning with his dissertation on the Rothschild Canticles (Yale, 1987), much of his scholarship has focused on the art of female monasticism, a program of research that culminated in 2005 in an international exhibition, Krone und Schleier (Crown and Veil) that was sponsored by the German government and held jointly in Bonn and Essen. An English translation of the essays in the exhibition catalog was published by Columbia University Press in 2008. His current research includes a project that seeks to integrate digital technology into the study and presentation of liturgical manuscripts, a study of narrative imagery in late medieval German prayer books and a major international exhibition on German manuscript illumination in the age of Gutenberg. The recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the NEH, and the Humboldt-Stiftung, Prof. Hamburger was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 2001 and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009. He serves on numerous advisory boards, among them, those of the German Manuscript Cataloguing Centers, the Europäisches Romanikzentrum, the Centre International de Codicologie, Bibliothèque Royale Albert Ier, Brussels, and the Katalog der deutschsprachigen illustrierten Handschriften des Mittelalters, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Munich. He is currently Chair of Harvard's Medieval Studies Committee.
In addition to numerous articles, Prof. Hamburger's books include: The Mind's Eye: Art and Theological Argument in the Medieval West, co-edited with Anne-Marie Bouché (Princeton: Department of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University, Princeton University Press, 2005); Die Ottheinrich-Bibel. Kommentar zur Faksimile-Ausgabe der Handschrift Cgm 8010/1.2 der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München co-authored with Brigitte Gullath, Karin Schneider, & Robert Suckale (Luzern: Faksimile-Verlag, 2002); St. John the Divine: The Deified Evangelist in Medieval Art and Theology (Berkeley-Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002); The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany (New York: Zone Books, 1998), awarded the Charles Rufus Morey Prize of the College Art Association and the Roland H. Bainton Book Prize in Art & Music; Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent(Berkeley-Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1996, awarded the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History of the American Philosophical Society and the Otto Gründler Prize of the International Congress of Medieval Studies; and The Rothschild Canticles : Art and Mysticism in Flanders and the Rhineland circa 1300 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), awarded the Arlt Award in the Humanities by the Council of Graduate Schools and the John Nicholas Brown Prize of the Medieval Academy of America. His most recent book, Leaves from Paradise: The Cult of John at the Dominican Convent of Paradies bei Soest, Houghton Library Studies, vol. 2 (Cambridge: Houghton Library, distributed by Harvard University Press), was published in 2008.
Professor Hamburger holds both his B.A. and Ph.D. in art history from Yale University. He previously held teaching positions at Oberlin College and the University of Toronto. He has been a guest professor in Zurich, Paris, Oxford and Fribourg, Switzerland.