Over recent decades research in the history of collecting has often focused on collections of arts and artefacts, even though the mediaeval and early modern kunst- and wunderkammern harboured both artificialia and naturalia from their very inception. In fact, some of the keenest collectors of art and antiquities, such as Cosimo I de’ Medici or the Saxon electors, were also particularly renowned for their interest in the natural sciences, including geography, botany, zoology. Their collections were displayed as part of specially created display schemes that exalted the role of the owner as prince and master of nature while also pre-dating in their particular selection and order more recent systems of classification. Frequently such naturalia were not only displayed side-by-side with painted or sculptural works of art, they were sometimes enhanced by artistic intervention (Handsteine) or exhibited as natural works of sculpture, for example in the form of prepared animals, skeletons, minerals, and metal ore.
Scholars such as Paula Findlen have been able to show how important a role Possessing Nature played in a courtly context and how often such collections of plants, prepared animals, bones, stones, minerals and other marvels of nature formed the foundation of research bodies such as academies and university institutes. What started as a mass of curiosities soon was transformed into an insatiable quest for knowledge that was furthermore fanned by the age of exploration, colonisation, and the exploitation of far-away countries by merchant venturers such as the East India Companies of several Western Nations.
The organisers of this conference invite proposals of scholars of the history of collecting and of the history of science who intend to explore the intersection between the two disciplines while not forgetting about the context of provenance and display. Rather than giving a specific chronological framework we would like the conference papers to focus on the role of scientific collections in both a courtly and monastic context.
The conference will take place from 24 to 28 May 2013 at Kloster Irsee, St Ottilien and Abtei Ottobeuren.
If you have questions or would like to put in a 250 word proposal please contact Dr Andrea Gáldy email@example.com or Dr. Sylvia Heudecker firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 October 2012 Email: email@example.com
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)