The shift from a purposefully and playfully disordered Kunstkammer to the well-ordered Enlightenment museum is known. What has yet to be explored fully is the process through which this transformation occurred. This two-day workshop will investigate the role of learned societies in that transformation between England and German-speaking lands, focusing on the relatively understudied period from the foundation of the Leopoldina as a medical association (1652) to the start of the Royal Society Presidency of Joseph Banks (1778). It will explore why it was that physicians seemed to have such a seminal role in collecting and connoisseurship in both regions. Did medics in the Leopoldina, the Society of Antiquaries in London and the Royal Society have similar collecting practices, strategies, and underlying reasons for collecting? What were their contributions to the creation of wonder cabinets and early museums, as well as their development of norms of connoisseurship and classification of knowledge?
Participants will engage with the archives of the Leopoldina and the Francke Foundation’s extant Kunst- und Naturalienkammer (art and natural history cabinet) in Halle, a rare survivor fro the 17th century. The Kunst- und Naturalienkammer was assembled as a teaching tool for children in the Francke Orphanage and Hospital, where a hands-on, and playful curriculum using objects and instruments, the practice of crafts, and musical performance was prized. This workshop will thus be accompanied by a concert of baroque chamber music to raise public awareness of the work of the Francke Foundation, an instance of collecting for charity. The workshop is also being held during the Handel Festival in Halle.
Speakers include Julia Schmidt-Funke, Georgiana (Jo) Hedesan, Dominik Hünniger, Vera Keller, Fabian Krämer, Anna Maerker, Anna Marie Roos, Thomas Ruhland, Danny Weber, and Kelly Whitmer.
This workshop is part of a very recent networking grant award from the AHRC: Collective Wisdom: Collecting in the Early Modern Academy. (PI: A.M. Roos, Co-I: Vera Keller).
Please send a 200-word abstract and a CV to Anna Marie Roos (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 8 May 2018. Early career researchers and established scholars are welcome.