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Collecting Nature
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5/24/2013 to 5/28/2013
When: 5/24/2013
Where: Irsee, Schwabenakademie Irsee 
Contact: Andrea Gáldy
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Research in the history of collecting has often focused on collections of works of art 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 particularly renowned for their interest in the natural sciences, including geography, botany, and zoology. What started as a mass of curiosities – e.g. prepared animals, skeletons, minerals, and metal ore - soon was transformed into an insatiable quest for knowledge that was furthermore fanned by the age of exploration and the exploitation of far-away countries. Papers in this conference will focus on the intersection between the history of collecting and the history of science, while not forgetting the monastic or courtly context of provenance and display. Irsee is a particularly interesting venue for in the eighteenth century Pater Eugen Dobler had set up a much admired bird cabinet. Although no trace of this cabinet remains, the room itself still exists and will be used for the conference’s academic sessions. International scholars will be presenting, the conference language is English.

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