Founder of Misericordia International was the American professor Elaine C. Block (1928-2008). During her life as a professor, she taught at Hunter College City University of New York. She got her Ph. D. at University of Wisconsin in elementary education and while being engaged with children she developed her passion for medieval misericords. For study purposes, she travelled many times between Europe and the United States. Throughout the years of going on journeys, she saw and took pictures of probably every choir stall and misericord in Western Europe. With her expertise and knowledge, reconstruction projects could be made possible; especially when churches like the cathedral of Rouen and the cathedral at Saint-Claude (Jura) near the Swiss border suffered severe damage, her consultancy was gratefully accepted. Thanks to Elaine Block and her photographic and literary merits medieval misericords are now a well-established part of the international art historical research.


Since its foundation in 1992, MI organizes its own biennial international congress. This is a chronologic list with the colloquia which were held in the past:

  • I Colloque de Misericordia International, Paris 1-2 July 1993
    Misericords in Paris and the Oise Region
  • II Colloque de Misericordia International, Cologne 14-15 July, 1995
  • III Colloque de Misericordia International, Barcelona 3-6 Jul 1997
    Misericords and Frescoes in Catalonia
  • IV Colloque de Misericordia International, Amiens 31 August-3 September 1999
    Stalles de Normandie
  • V Colloque de Misericordia International, Angers March 2002
    Bible de bois du Moyen-Âge
  • VI Colloque de Misericordia International, Sheffield 18-21 July 2003
    Profane Images in Marginal Arts of the Middle Ages
  • VII Colloque de Misericordia International, Basel 1-4 September 2006
    La Nature: rythme et danse des saisons dans les stalles médiévales
  • VIII Colloque de Misericordia International, Paris 25-29 June 2008
    Music of Charivari in the Medieval Stalls
  • IX Colloque de Misericordia International, Nijmegen 24-26 June 2010
    Popular Wisdom on Medieval Choir Stalls
  • X Colloque de Misericordia International, Gdansk 4-6 Oktober 2012
    Creation, Recreation. Restoration and Creation of Choir Stalls in the 19th and 20th Centuries
  • XI Colloque de Misericordia International, León 29 May–1 June 2014
    Choir Stalls in Architecture and Architecture in Choir Stalls
  • XII Colloque de Misericordia International, Greifswald 23–26 June 2016
    Choir Stalls and its Workshops
  • XIII Colloque de Misericordia International, Rijeka 13–16 September 2018
    Choir Stalls and Their Patrons
  • XIV Colloque de Misericordia International, Amiens 21–22 May 2021
    Les stalles de la cathédrale d’Amiens 500 ans