This project investigated the development and transmission of color-altering technologies in the early modern Atlantic world, working with Berlin’s extensive South American ethnographic collections and important archives from German anthropological expeditions to Latin America. Focusing particularly on the effects of the brazilwood dye trade and the importation of Brazilian artifacts made from the scarlet ibis, this study examined shifting technological, cultural, and social valuations
According to followers of René Haüy (1743–1822), minerals were classified according to basic crystallized shapes, and for mineralogical geologists the structure of the Earth was understood through the interpretation of these basic elements. Mineralogists and geologists appropriated different forms of inquiry such as art and architecture to help them wrestle with the natural and artificial aspects that informed their scientific sensibilities.
In recent years color has become the focus of scholarly discussion on the interactions between art, craft, science, and technology. While this discussion has drawn in scholars from various disciplines, the interactions between categories of art, craft, science, and technology, unreflectively defined according to modern disciplines, have not been helpful in understanding color in the early modern period.
This reading seminar, running over two years in 2016–17, brings together around a dozen historians and philologists with diverse kinds of linguistic expertise to discuss the relation between plurilingualism and the creation and reception of monolingual and plurilingual texts in various Eurasian societies. The seminar is based on the collaborative work of a constant group of participants, occasionally joined by specially invited guests.
How do ways of life emerge and how are they transformed? Ways of life are essential to any historical description of a given society, yet we hardly have any historical account of their making. Anthropologists often refer to them as given, as one of the basic building blocks of cultures, while historians have tended to treat them as the products of long-term and largely invisible processes.
This Working Group project chapter looked at the topographic construction of optical schemes informed by perspectival principles in early modern French gardens and parks. The notion of construction does not relate here to drawing lines in a picture plane, but to spatial and physical implementation.