exploring the role and uses of visual material
At a time when vision was presented as a tool for gathering knowledge directly from nature, images often challenged text as the superior tool for the exploration and description of nature. The ability of art to both represent and alter nature provided aesthetic delight as well as useful information. The use of images became standard in the teaching of natural history and medicine, and in publications on these subjects. Images served to substitute for unavailable objects, such as distant animals or plants out of season, or to clarify present ones, like the human body. Pictures mediated between objects and texts, and presented viewers with synthetic representations combining information about multiple objects.
Much of the writing on scientific images has focused on the transformation of science through the incorporation of visual technologies such as the microscope, the telescope, and mapping practices. While the role of technology is undoubtedly important, such emphasis on instruments would suggest that optics and mathematics were the exclusive technologies through which vision was mediated. This workshop will investigate the practices of early modern sciences and scientific illustration as a different type of visual technologies that shaped the way in which nature was apprehended, represented, and understood. Is it possible to argue that the most important scientific instruments in the early modern period were the eye, the page, ink, and the pen or brush?
topics of interests include:
Attendance is open to all. Papers are pre-circulated and available for download from this site by clicking on the links of the paper titles. The workshop will consist of general discussion by all attendants (not formal presentations of the papers)(Printable Version of Schedule)
|Friday, 25 March, 4:30-6 p.m., 211 Dickinson Hall|
Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science
Four-Eyed Seeing: Artists, Naturalists, and Their Images
|Saturday, 26 March, 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., 211 Dickinson Hall|
|9:00 a.m.: Sachiko
Andreas Vesalius and the
Canonization of the Human Body: Res, Verba, Pictura
Commentator: Eileen Reeves, Princeton University
10:45 a.m.: Brian
|1:30 p.m.: Amy R.
From Nature and Memory:
William Bartram's Drawings of North American Flora and Fauna
Commentator: Pamela Smith, Pomona College
|3:15 p.m.: Tamara
University of Chicago
Drawn from Nature: Stuart and Revett in Athens
Commentator: John Pinto, Princeton University
Lunch is provided for all workshop participants.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org