Madeline Viljoen will speak in the Seminar in Renaissance and Early Modern Material Culture on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. Her talk is entitled “Christoph Jamnitzer’s Neuw Grotteβken Buch and the Cosmography of Early Modern Ornament Prints.”

Madeline Viljoen was appointed Curator of Prints at the New York Public Library in October 2010. She holds the PhD from Princeton University and has curated many well-received exhibitions, including The Early Modern Painter Etcher (with Michael W. Cole); Daring Methods: The Prints of Mary Cassatt; Sublime: The Prints of J.M.W Turner and Thomas Moran; and, most recently, Printing Women: Female Printmakers, 1570-1900. Viljoen has published extensively on early modern European prints, including articles on Raphael, Marcantonio Raimondi, and Hendrick Goltzius. Most recently, she has turned her attention to early modern ornament prints. Her article “The Airs on Early Modern Ornament Prints” appeared in the Oxford Art Journal in 2014, and the paper she will be presenting at Bard Graduate Center is extracted from a study of the goldsmith Christoph Jamnitzer that will appear in the June 2016 Art Bulletin.

Ornament prints have long been treated as a category apart, most commonly studied with regard to style and/or their applications to the decorative arts. Long appreciated as a high point of the German ornamental grotesque, Christoph Jamnitzer’s Neuw Grotteβken Buch, published in 1610, includes an unusual prefatory essay that has not received the attention it deserves. Studying the language used in this introduction in relation to the grotesque designs that follow, this paper argues for the importance of understanding Jamnitzer’s and other ornaments in their early modern creators’ own terms. The point of entry into this discussion is Jamnitzer’s startling analogy between himself and the cosmographo Christopher Columbus.

RSVP is required.