Alexander Marr will be coming to speak at the Seminar in Renaissance and Early Modern Material Culture on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. His talk is entitled “Early Modern Instrument Aesthetics.”

Alexander Marr is University Lecturer in the History of Art, 1400-1700, at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall. He studied history of art at Sotheby’s Institute, London, and modern history at the University of Oxford, where, at The Queen’s College, he was Clifford Norton Student in History of Science. Prior to his current position at Cambridge, Marr was Lecturer at the University of St Andrews and Associate Professor at the University of Southern California. The recipient of awards and fellowships from, among others, the Huntington Library, the Max Planck Institute for History of Science, and the British Academy, he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2008 for his “outstanding contribution” to the history of art. In 2011 he was Robert H. Smith Scholar in Residence for Renaissance Sculpture in Context at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Marr specializes in Early Modern art and architecture, particularly their intellectual and scientific aspects. He has published on Italian, French, Netherlandish, German, and British subjects. Recent publications include Between Raphael and Galileo: Mutio Oddi and the Mathematical Culture of Late Renaissance Italy (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011); “Picturing Collections in Early Modern Europe,” Intellectual History Review 20:1 (2010): 1-4; The Worlds of Oronce Fine: Mathematics, Instruments, and Print in Renaissance France (Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2009); and Curiosity and Wonder from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, co-editor, Robert John Weston Evans (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006).

In his talk at the BGC, Marr will explore the ways in which we may study early modern epistemic imagery by taking as a case study a group of printed instruments produced in Nuremberg, in the orbit of Albrecht Dürer, in the early sixteenth century. While recent work on epistemic imagery has focused on the “work” that such images do, little attention has been paid to the aesthetics of these objects. Situating the prints within the context of the Dürer workshop, the imperial court, and the aesthetic preoccupations of leading Nuremberg intellectuals, this paper seeks to explain why these remarkable objects look the way that they do. In particular, it seeks to reintegrate into the study of epistemic imagery questions about style, form and art that have been absent from recent scholarship in the Bildwissenschaft tradition.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. Registrants who arrive late may be seated in an overflow viewing area.

To join the discussion remotely via twitter, either with questions or comments, please use the twitter hashtag #BardGradCenterTV. During the lecture, the faculty convener will review this feed and ask the speaker questions drawn from twitter.