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Natura Artis Magistra

Natura Artis Magistra

Coordinator

Prof. dr. Erik de Jong; Dr. Bert van de Roemer

Members of the research group

prof. dr. Erik de Jong, dr. Bert van de Roemer, drs. Hans Mulder, dr. Jonneke Bekkenkamp, dr. Maarten Reesink, dr. Jet Bakels, Sandra den Dulk MA, drs. Harry J. Kraaij, Dr. Claire Weeda

Description of the research programme of the research group

The focus of this research group is thematic as well as object-based. It will study the complex and multifaceted relationship between nature and culture from the early modern period to the present. The historical, archival, art historical and scientific collections of the Artis Library and the Artis Zoological Garden will form the breeding-ground for current and new research. The rich and diverse holdings of these collections are the point of departure and catalyst for new questions; however, the scope of research will transcend the particularities of these collections. A thematic focus will show how humans through the ages have shaped, researched, represented, modified and imitated nature in all its facets. This will be studied from different fields of interest, such as scientific research, visual arts, literature, landscape design and landscape art, media and (popular) culture. These fields are not viewed as separate. On the contrary, the focus on the relationship between art and nature will lead to interdisciplinary research and to attention for blind spots in the border regions of modern disciplinary classifications. 

Recent results

Jet Bakels

Publications

J. Bakels i.s.m. Prof. G. Persoon) ‘Sharing Stories. On the Intercultural Dialogue on the Protection of Species’. In: Culture and Conservation. Arcus Foundation, London 2016 

J. Bakels, Wu Wen en Xeng Ya gaan logeren. Uitgeverij Rubinstein, Amsterdam. Goudenboekje over de komst van de twee panda’s als diplomatiek geschenk naar Nederland, met aandacht voor de culturele tradities van beide landen.

J. Bakels, Toys for the Souls. Life and Art of the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia door Reimar Schefold. Uitgeverij Primedia, Brussel (productie), 2017

Activities

2016 (november) Veldwerk in Bardiya National Park in Nepal naar de culturele tradities rond de tijger. In samenwerking met de Himalayan Tiger Foundation en ter voorbereiding van een schoolboekje voor Nepal.

2016 (3 december) Paneldiscussie in London Zoo, Arcus Foundation, over Culture and Conservation.

2017 Voorbereiding expositie Teylers Museum over Cryptozoologie; onontdekte dieren tussen wetenschap en fantasie (opening februari 2018).

2017 Voorbereiding expositie Kunst en Cultuur van Mentawai, Museum voor Wereldculturen Leiden, inhoudsontwikkeling (opening 20 oktober 2017).

Sandra van der Dulk

Publications

Dulk, S. den, ‘Een mensenpark: van dierentuin naar stadspark.’ in Cascade 25, nr. 2 (2016): 35-52.

Dulk, S. den, 'Sparrentorens voor de stadsmuur van Amersfoort. Een zeventiende-eeuws stadsparkje uit de archieven gehaald.' in: Does, A. van der, J. Holwerda, red. Tuingeschiedenis in Nederland II. Denken en doen in de Nederlandse tuinkunst 1500-2000. Ulvenhout: Stichting Tuinhistorisch Genootschap Cascade, 2016: 35-43.

Presentations

'From Sydenham hill to marshy Meppel. Paxton's influence on a Dutch public park: Wilhelmina Park in Meppel'. Paxton 150 conference, 11 & 12 september 2015, University of Sheffield

Erik de Jong

Publications

Erik de Jong, ‘Zum Geleit’, in: Anette Freytag, Dieter Kienast. Stadt und landschaft lesbar machen, Zurich, gta Verlag, 2016, pp. 7-9

Erik de Jong, 'Aarde', Voorwoord inParksporen. Ondergronds in het Amstelpark en het Gijsbrecht van Aemstelpark. Van XL tot XS, project Marjolein Boterenbrood, artist in residence ´Zone2Source‘, Amstelpark, Gemeente Amsterdam/Stichting Stokroos 2000

Erik de Jong, ‘wat gebeurt er als we wolven loslaten in de Oostvaardersplassen?’ In: Beatrice de Graaf en Alexander Rinnooy Kan, Hoe zwaar is lichtMeer dan 100 dringende vragen aan de wetenschap, Amsterdam, uitgeverij Balans, 2017, pp.164-167

Erik A. de Jong,’Arctoa Tempe. Nature and Man at the Swedish Court of Hedvig Eleonora 1654-1715’, in: Huis en Habitus. Over kastelen, buitenplaatsen en notabele levensvormen, Hilversum, Verloren, 2017, pp. 84-98

Interview:

Mascha Bisping, ‘Ein Ort, wo sich Natur, Kunst und Wissenschaft angeregt unterhalten‘, Interview gepubliceerd in:  k+a - Kunst und Architektur in der Schweiz3/2016, pp. 18-23 (GSK - Gesellschaft für Schweizerische Kunstgeschichte)

Harry Kraaij

Presentations

‘Animal Portraits in The Netherlands (1800-1900): An Art-Historical Survey on the Emancipation of the Animal within the Rise of Western-European Capital Life.’ VNK-Congres Mens en dier. De omgang met dieren in de Lage Landen (1780-1940), 15 december 2017

‘Beestachtige Liefde. Het huisdier in de maatschappij en de kunst van de 19de eeuw’. Dag van Milieufilosofie, Universiteit Wageningen (organisatie), Natura Artis Magistra

Hans Mulder

Activities

Organisatie:Microscopic practice and visual culture in the 17th and 18th centuries(Museum Boerhaave, Artis Bibliotheek en ARTIS-Micropia), Amsterdam, 2 November 2016.

Organisation: Changing the Nature of Art and Science, Intersections with Maria Sibylla Merian (Maria Sibylla Merian Conference: June 7-9 2017, Amsterdam)

Presentations

“Brieven over kleine ‘dierkens’ van Antoni van Leeuwenhoek”. Tijdens. Een avond met Wim Brands in de Artis Bibliotheek, Amsterdam, 23 maart 2016.

“Read those books! Successful attempts to use the collections of Artis Library in education and research”. Tijdens: Connecting Collections XVII Universeum Network Meeting (University of Amsterdam & Utrecht University), Amsterdam, 9-11 June 2016.

“De ontdekking van de kleine wereld”. Tijdens:Summer School History of the Book(Bijzondere Collecties, UvA), Amsterdam, 30 augustus 2016.

“Pieter Lyonet and Johannes Schepens”. Tijdens: Microscopic practice and visual culture in the 17th and 18th centuries(Museum Boerhaave, Artis Bibliotheek en ARTIS-Micropia), Amsterdam, 2 November 2016.

Cursus “De ontdekking van de natuur” (honoursprogramma VU en UvA) 16 studenten, 14 hoor/werkcolleges. (november – december) (NB: Met Bert van de Roemer)

Gastcollege: “De geschiedenis van de evolutietheorie” (studenten geneeskunde UvA) (23 november 2016).

“Who printed the texts of Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensiumand Der rupsen begin, voedzel en wonderbaare verandering?”, Merian conference: Changing the Nature of Art and Science. Intersections with Maria Sibylla Merian, KIT Amsterdam, 8 juni 2017.

“Maria Sibylla Merian: leven, werk en navolging”. Tijdens: Summer School History of the Book(Bijzondere Collecties, UvA), Amsterdam, 29 augustus 2017.

Publications

Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium = Verandering der Surinaamsche insecten = Transformation of the Surinamese insects: 1705 / Maria Sibylla Merian ; onder redactie van Marieke van Delft & Hans Mulder (Tielt, 2016).

“Voorwoord: een interview met Redmond O’Hanlon”.In: Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium(M.S. Merian, 1705),Marieke van Delft & Hans Mulder (red.) (Tielt, 2016).

(with Marieke van Delft) “De productie van Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium”In: Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (M.S. Merian, 1705),Marieke van Delft & Hans Mulder (red.) (Tielt, 2016).

Bert van de Roemer

Publications

B. van de Roemer, 'Gedenkjaar Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717): een vrouw op het snijvlak van kunst en wetenschap' in Amstelodamum104-2, p. 90-93

B. van de Roemer i.s.m. Tom van der Molen, Maria Sibylla Merian. De schatkamercollectie, Leerdam: Amsterdam Museum 2017 (publicatie bij tentoonstelling)

B. van de Roemer, 'Merian's network of collector-naturalists'/'Merians netwerk van verzamelende natuurliefhebbers' in: H. Mulder & M van Delft, Maria Sibylla Merian 'Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Den Haag, Tielt 2016, p. 19-28 (ook in Duits)

B. van de Roemer, 'Art opens the Book of Nature'/'Kunst öffnet das Buch der Natur' in: G. Selig, Die Menagerie der Medusa. Otto Marseus van Schrieck und die Gelehrten, Schwerin and München 2017, p. 127-139

B. van de Roemer, 'Anatomy embellished in the cabinet of Frederik Ruysch' in: Joanna Ebenstein, Death: A Graveside Companion, New York: Thames & Hudson 2017, p. 53-54

B. van de Roemer i.s.m. Brigitte Wirth en Carlijn van der Baan, 'Letters by Maria Sibylla Merian' en algeheel onderhoud webiste Maria Sibylla Merian Society (http://www.themariasibyllameriansociety.humanities.uva.nl/sources/letters/).

Presentations

Boeksalon Maria Sibylla Merian (presentatie facsimile), Bijzondere Collecties, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 20 oktober 2016

'Merian's Amsterdam Network', Merian conference: Changing the Nature of Art and Science. Intersections with Maria Sibylla Merian, KIT Amsterdam, 8 juni 2017

'Maria Sibylla Merian en de geschiedenis van het verzamelen', Cromhouthuis, 25 april 2017

Interview

De grens tussen kunst en wetenschap, Radio Swammerdam, i.s.m. Hans Abbing, 27 november 2016

Claire Weeda

Publications

C. Weeda, 'The fixed and the fluent: geographical determinism, ethnicity, and religion c. 1100-1300 CE', in Rebecca Futo Kennedy and Molly Jones-Lewis (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Idenity and the Environment in the Classical and Medieval Worlds(London and New York, 2016), pp. 93-113.

C. Weeda, 'Conduct Books, Medicine and Manners, c. 1100-1300', in The Great Household, 1000-1500: Proceedings of the 2016 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. by Chris Woolgar (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2018), accepted 

C. Rawcliffe and C. Weeda, Policing the Environment in Premodern Europe, edited volume forthcoming

C. Weeda, 'Cleanliness, Civility and the City in Medieval Ideals and Scripts', in Policing the Environment, ed. by C. Rawcliffe and C. Weeda, edited volume forthcoming

 

Societal relevance

The debate about the relation between nature and manmade culture is just as relevant today as it was in the past centuries, even though the content and form of this debate changes constantly.  We need only think about the discussions about genetically modified food, biodiversity, landscape architecture, or the new Dutch political Partij voor de Dieren. The primary aim of this research group is to feed these current debates from a more theoretical and historical perspective. A second aim is to create more awareness and interest for the versatile collection of the Artis Library and the Artis Zoo. This unique cultural heritage compels us to preserve, maintain, process, study and interpret it in a way from which future generations will benefit. In doing so, we seek our audience in different target groups. The projects concerning the digitization of source material and the publication of monographs are designed for a scholarly public. They will render research material accessible and contribute to the scholarly debate. In collaboration with the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten the collection will be used by contemporary artists who relate to the theme of this research group.   The projects concerning in exhibitions are aimed at a broader and a more general audience. In these exhibitions the insight gained in the research projects will be translated into accessible and stimulating presentations.