Inventing Science: Iconography on Scientific Instruments in the Early Modern Period

Inventing Science: Iconography on Scientific Instruments in the Early Modern Period

Dr. Arianna Borrelli, Prof. Dr. Volker Remmert, Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung, Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Campus Grifflenberg, BU Wuppertal
Vom - Bis
28.08.2013 - 29.08.2013
Volker Remmert

The development, production and use of scientific instruments is a well-established research field in the history of science and technology and it is with the aim of expanding the scope of research that we wish to devote our workshop to systematically exploring the worlds of images appearing upon the instruments and their place within the visual culture of the time. We hope that this interdisciplinary approach will open up new perspectives on the historical and scientific significance of the instruments and foster a closer collaboration between scholars of different background, such as historians of art or of science and technology, curators of museum collections, philosophers and scholars from cultural studies. The first step in the investigation of the iconography on scientific instruments will be an attempt at mapping the landscape: beside pictures offering information on how the instruments had to be used, we may expect to find inscribed on them images connected to a multitude of visual contexts, for example aimed at constructing traditions, evoking myths and legends, transmitting and popularizing knowledge, or positioning instruments and their makers within theoretical debates or scientific frameworks.

Guests are welcome. Please be in touch by August 23.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Arianna Borrelli/Volker Remmert, Wuppertal: Welcome
The Context of the Sun
Carolin Behrmann, Florence: The Sun, the scales, and the dial. Scientific instruments and the metrics of justice
Coffee break
Jasmin Mersmann, Berlin: Embodying time. Figurative sundials and their narratives
Denis Ribouillault, Montreal: Sundials in Early Modern Roman gardens: the ‘gnomon’ as ‘nomen’

Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Courtly Context
Bettina Marten, Frankfurt/Main: A 'capitano general' commands the heavens: On the astrolabe of Vespasiano Gonzaga (1531-1591)
Emma Perkins, Cambridge/England: “For the sake of ornament”: symbolic representation in Tycho Brahe's small brass quadrant
Coffe break
Instruments in Context
Samuel Gessner, Lisbon: Star-maps and celestial globes between artisans, mathematicians, and noblemen in Renaissance Europe
Alexander Marr, Cambridge/England: The Aesthetics of Early Modern Printed Instruments
The Heavenly Context
Silke Ackermann, Schwerin: Art in Heaven - Astrological Imagery on Scientifc Instruments
Karsten Gaulke, Kassel: The outside and inside and of a table clock made by Jost Bürgi: what have eight reliefs of important astronomers to do with a complicated sun and moon mechanism?
Coffee break
Huib Zuidervaart, The Hague: The regional variation in the ornamentation of the early telescope in Europe, and its resemblance to the decoration on 17th century book bindings


Volker Remmert
IZWT, BU Wuppertal