Professor Christine Göttler joins us this year from the University of Bern as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Long-Term Fellow. Her project, “Gold in a Golden Age: Imaginaries of a Metal in Netherlandish Art, c. 1600,” was chosen as one of twelve Long-Term Fellows from over 140 applicants for the 2018-19 academic year. Dr. Göttler is a distinguished art historian and is at the Newberry for nine months to continue her work on a book-length study on the ways in which metals, especially gold and silver, were imagined, used, and metaphorized in the visual arts at the turn of the seventeenth century - a historical moment when New World silver was flooding into the European market.
Dr. Göttler’s focus is on the Netherlands, and in particular on Antwerp and Haarlem with their connected and competing markets for the arts. Carel van Mander, in his Schilderboek (1604; 1618 posthumous edition at the Newberry) described a new culture of painting emerging in the Netherlands around the early 1600s, one where painters such as Hendrick Goltzius, Peter Paul Rubens, van Mander, and Cornelis Ketel competed with goldsmiths and even alchemists over the values, qualities, and effects of gold in their artistry. Gold became “a primary reference point for thinking about the painterly arts and their social, ethical, aesthetic, affective, and commercial values,” Dr. Göttler argued in her application to the Newberry.
Of her time here, Dr. Göttler says “The Newberry Library is an ideal place to make progress on a still developing project that links the overlapping histories, imaginaries, and politics of metals in an increasingly connected world. Its core collections in early modern travel and exploration, alchemy, natural philosophy as well as moral and religious thought offer a wonderful opportunity to dig into as yet unknown (scholarly) territories. In addition, the seminars, colloquia, and lunches are particularly pleasurable venues for trading knowledge with the Newberry’s expert curators and with fellow researchers.”
Dr. Göttler will present her preliminary findings at the Newberry Colloquium on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 4 pm in Towner Fellows Lounge.