Workshop Two

The Visual Worlds of the Royal Society

Workshop, 16 – 17 July 2018
Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge

A small number of travel bursaries for graduate students and early career fellows from the UK and overseas are available. Please contact Judith Weik to apply, stating your affiliation and providing a brief statement as to why you would like to attend the conference. 

Click here to see the workshop programme

Unknown artist, “A ruined temple with some pillars, as observed in a grain of sand under the microscope”
Unknown artist, “A ruined temple with some pillars, as observed in a grain of sand under the microscope”, from a letter by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to the Royal Society (4 December 1703), Royal Society Archives EL/L3/56
Image © Royal Society

The aim of this workshop is to explore the connections and networks within the wider visual worlds of the members of the early Royal Society (c. 1660-c.1710). Royal Society Fellows such as John Evelyn, Samuel Pepys, Thomas Povey, and William Aglionby were enthusiastic collectors of art, including prints, and were familiar with Continental collections and art theoretical works. They interacted frequently with printers, instrument makers and craftsmen, attended auctions, and made a point of donating portraits to the Society. How did
 first-hand experience and appreciation of art, artistic skills and collections affect the way members of the Society approached and judged images and objects of knowledge? How did their engagement with the visual worlds around them compare with their Continental counter-parts? We hope to bring together historians of science, art, collections, and print culture in order to bridge the artificial and unhelpful differentiation of ‘artist’ and ‘scientific’ images in this period.

Speakers: Alexander Marr, Matthew Walker, Rebekah Higgitt, Henrietta McBurney Ryan, Sietske Fransen, Kate Bennett, Karin Leonhard & Elisa von Minnigerode, Spike Bucklow, Andrew Burnett, Frances Hughes, Katherine M. Reinhart, Katy Barrett


Speaker Abstracts