Two Lectures by Professor Pamela Smith

20 Sep

This coming week, the Oberlin Art History Department will host Pamela Smith, Professor of History at Columbia University.  The lectures are funded by the Baldwin Fund and organized by Christina Neilson.

Monday, September 21 at 2:30 pm in Classroom I of the Art Building Smith will deliver a lecture “Casting from Life: Art and Nature in Early Modern Europe.”  This lecture is an open session of Neilson’s Baroque class.

Tuesday, September 22 at 5:00 pm in Classroom I of the Art Building Smith will give a lecture titled “Butter and Gold, Lizards and Vermilion: Art and Science in Early Modern Europe”.

Butter, gold, vermilion, and lizards were all materials employed by sixteenth-century European metalworkers.  What understanding of matter and the transformation of materials stood behind the use of these substances?  This lecture describes a “vernacular science” of matter and nature that informed metalworking practices, and considers the origin and transmission of these ideas and techniques.

Pamela Smith is a specialist in early modern science and her most recent publication is a book she co-edited with Benjamin Schmidt called Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, Objects, and Texts, 1400 – 1800, in 2008.

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Posted by on September 20, 2009 in Visiting Speaker


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