Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) is one of the more intriguing figures of scientific, artistic and commercial culture of the early modern period. Born in Frankfurt, and later based in Nuremberg, Wieuwerd, and Amsterdam, her scientific interest in entomology led her eventually to Surinam, where, as in Europe, she studied the metamorphoses of insects in their natural habitat. She translated her minute observations into powerful artistic representations that still attract the attention of many scholars, such as biologists, art historians and science historians. Modern artists and novelists also find inspiration in her work and life.
In commemoration of her death three hundred years ago the Maria Sibylla Merian Society in cooperation with the Artis Academy, the University of Amsterdam, and the Artis Library will organize an international conference in Amsterdam on 7, 8 and 9 June 2017. The aim of the conference is to bring together new research and projects relating to Maria Sibylla Merian. With her life and work as a focal point this conference will also discuss topics that relate to Merian from a broader perspective. Topics will include:
The religious, scientific, commercial, artistic context in which Merian worked and the overlapping areas among these cultural fields
Techniques and visual strategies of natural history illustration
Cultures of collecting and book production
Entomological research in Merian’s time
New biographical and archival research into Merian’s life
Merian’s networks in Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Amsterdam, and Surinam
Surinam as a colony and a place for commerce and study
Female naturalists, collectors, and artists
Merian’s influence on later naturalists and illustrators of natural history
Merian’s heritage in a broader sense
Merian’s art as inspirations for modern artists and novelists
We invite proposals for papers of 20 minutes (plenary sessions) and of 15 minutes (parallel sessions) that should be based on new or ongoing research. Proposals should be not more than 250 words in length and are due by 31 December 2016. Please send your proposal to: email@example.com.