Claudia Swan, born in New York City, New York, USA, in 1963. Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York City. Associate Professor at Northwestern University, Evanston.
Fellow (1 September 2010 – 30 June 2011)
The Aesthetics of Possession. Art, Science, Collecting in Early Modern Holland
This book will present four case studies or microhistorical analyses of instances of collecting and/or exchange in early modern Holland. Visual artworks are but one of a wide range of material artifacts that were avidly collected, eagerly exchanged, and proudly possessed in the early Dutch Republic. As the Dutch expanded their trade routes, and particularly with the founding of the VOC (1602) and the WIC (1621), exotic items were assimilated to the local economy. Plants, dried goods, and a wide variety of other natural and manmade goods gained new aesthetic, scientific, and economic and social value in early modern Holland, in ways that were at once unique to the global marketplace that developed there and germane to broader western European developments.
Ultimately, this study aims to align early modern Dutch collections of artistic and scientific items with the epistemological, aesthetic, and social conditions of their use and appreciation.
Claudia Swan, The Clutius Botanical Watercolors. Plants and Flowers of the Renaissance, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998 (2nd ed. 2000).
Claudia Swan, “Eyes wide shut. Early modern imagination, demonology, and the visual arts,” Zeitsprünge. Forschungen zur Frühen Neuzeit 7 (2003): 156-81.
Claudia Swan, Art, Science, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Holland: Jacques de Gheyn II (1565-1629), Cambridge: (Cambridge University Press, 2005).