Dec 08
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, Room L150
800 University Ave
4:00 PM Science, Nature, and Wonder in the Middle Ages

Canceled: Claudia Swan

Art History, Northwestern University
Art, Nature, Fabrication

Please note this event has been canceled.



The often complex, always productive, and sometimes vexed relationship between art and nature is an august topos of early modern European culture—and of artistic production in particular. The relationship between art and nature played out across a variety of arenas in the early modern era. One arena in which the principles and products of art and nature were cultivated is the collection—and in particular, the sorts of collections referred to as Wunderkammern, chambers of wonder. The complex artifacts that epitomize Wunderkammer collections were prized for seeming the products of art and nature alike. This paper focuses on one such artifact, the shell vessel or Nautiluspokal, produced in large numbers around 1600. Fabricated objects that embody the play of art and nature, shell vessels emblematize the relationship between collecting and trade, and the commercialization and collecting of rare, foreign, curious, exotic items—nacre and lucre.

Co-sponsored by the Medieval Studies Program, the Center for Early Modern Studies, the Center for Visual Cultures, and the Department of Art History.

Borghesi-Mellon Workshops