Christine Göttler spoke at the Seminar in Cultural History on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. Her talk is entitled “Constructing a Global Interior: The Imagery of Collections and Collecting in Seventeenth-Century Antwerp.”

In the early seventeenth century, a series of new subjects emerged in the visual arts of Antwerp and proclaimed the city as the site of a new culture of collecting, which embraced the old and new worlds and was informed by both intellectual curiosity and commercial interests. While there is a rich and growing body of literature on depictions of the so-called constkamers, other iconographies and images that also relate to the idea of Antwerp as a “storehouse” of the world and a “nurturer of all arts, sciences, nations and virtues” (as Antwerp was called by the Calvinist city fathers in 1577) have been less explored. Göttler’s presentation will primarily focus on Adriaen van Utrecht’s Allegory of Fire (1636, Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels); however, the talk will also present a number of Antwerp paintings that explore the transitions between making, collecting, trading, and display; the boundaries between art and nature; and the various forms of local and foreign antiquity.

Christine Göttler is Professor and Director of the Modern Art History Division in the Institute for Art History at the University of Bern in Switzerland. She has previously taught at the University of Zürich, Freie Universität Berlin, and the University of Washington at Seattle. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Zürich and her Habilitation from Freie Universität Berlin. Göttler has published extensively on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century art, religion, and culture. Her recent and forthcoming publications include: “The Temptation of the Senses at the Sacro Monte di Varallo,” in Wietse de Boer, Christine Göttler, and Herman Roodenburg, eds., Religion and the Senses in Early Modern Europe (Intersections, Vol. 26; Leiden: Brill, 2012); “The Alchemist, the Painter, and the ‘Indian Bird’: Joining Arts and Cultures in Seventeenth-Century Antwerp: Adriaen van Utrecht’s Allegory of Firein the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels”, in Manuela DeGiorgi, Annette Hoffmann, and Nicola Suthor, eds., Synergies: Creating Art in Joined Cultures (Munich: Fink, 2012); and “The Place of the ‘Exotic’ in Early Seventeenth-Century Antwerp,” in Stephanie Schrader, ed., East: Rubens’s Encounter with Asia (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013). Additionally, Göttler is currently working on several projects that address cultural life and art production in Antwerp during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including a collaborative research project entitled, “The Interior: Art, Space, and Performance (Early Modern to Postmodern),” at the University of Bern.