Collecting the World

The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane
Author: James Delbourgo
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780718194437
Category:
Page: 544
View: 8949
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Hans Sloane was the greatest collector of his time, and one of the greatest of all time. His name is familiar today through the London streets and squares named after him, but the man himself, and his achievements, are almost forgotten. Born in the north of Ireland, Sloane made his fortune as a physician to London's wealthiest residents. In 1687 he travelled to Jamaica, then at the heart of Britain's commercial empire, to survey its natural history, and later organised a network of correspondents who sent him curiosities from across the world. He became one of the eighteenth century's preeminent natural historians and assembled an astonishing collection of specimens, artefacts and oddities - the most famous curiosity cabinet of the age. Shortly after his death, Sloane's vast collection was then acquired - as he had hoped - by the nation. It became the nucleus of the world's first national public museum, the British Museum. This is the first biography of Sloane in over sixty years and the first based on his surviving collections. Early modern science and collecting are shown to be global endeavours intertwined with empire and slavery but which nonetheless produced one of the great public institutions of the Enlightenment, as the cabinet of curiosities gave way to the encyclopaedic museum. Collecting the Worlddescribes this pivotal moment in the emergence of modern knowledge, and brings this totemic figure back to life.

Collecting the World

Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum
Author: James Delbourgo
Publisher: Belknap Press
ISBN: 9780674737334
Category:
Page: 384
View: 8422
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In 1759 the British Museum opened its doors to the public--the first free national museum in the world. James Delbourgo recounts the story behind its creation through the life of Hans Sloane, a controversial luminary with an insatiable ambition to pit universal knowledge against superstition and few curbs on his passion for collecting the world.

A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders

Electricity and Enlightenment in Early America
Author: James Delbourgo
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674022997
Category: History
Page: 367
View: 2312
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Benjamin Franklin's invention of the lightning rod is the founding fable of American science, but Franklin was only one of many early Americans fascinated by electricity. As a dramatically new physical experience, electricity amazed those who dared to tame the lightning and set it coursing through their own bodies. Thanks to its technological and medical utility, but also its surprising ability to defy rational experimental mastery, electricity was a powerful experience of enlightenment, at once social, intellectual, and spiritual. In this compelling book, James Delbourgo moves beyond Franklin to trace the path of electricity through early American culture, exploring how the relationship between human, natural, and divine powers was understood in the eighteenth century. By examining the lives and visions of natural philosophers, spectacular showmen, religious preachers, and medical therapists, he shows how electrical experiences of wonder, terror, and awe were connected to a broad array of cultural concerns that defined the American Enlightenment. The history of lightning rods, electrical demonstrations, electric eels, and medical electricity reveals how early American science, medicine, and technology were shaped by a culture of commercial performance, evangelical religion, and republican politics from mid-century to the early republic. The first book to situate early American experimental science in the context of a transatlantic public sphere, A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders offers a captivating view of the origins of American science and the cultural meaning of the American Enlightenment. In a story of shocks and sparks from New England to the Caribbean, Delbourgo brilliantly illuminates a revolutionary New World of wonder.

Possession

The Curious History of Private Collectors from Antiquity to the Present
Author: Erin Thompson
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300221002
Category: History
Page: 192
View: 3189
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Whether it's the discovery of $1.6 billion in Nazi-looted art or the news that Syrian rebels are looting UNESCO archaeological sites to buy arms, art crime commands headlines. Erin Thompson, America's only professor of art crime, explores the dark history of looting, smuggling, and forgery that lies at the heart of many private art collections and many of the world's most renowned museums. Enlivened by fascinating personalities and scandalous events, Possession shows how collecting antiquities has been a way of creating identity, informed by a desire to annex the past while providing an illicit thrill along the way. Thompson's accounts of history's most infamous collectors—from the Roman Emperor Tiberius, who stole a life-sized nude Greek statue for his bedroom, to Queen Christina of Sweden, who habitually pilfered small antiquities from her fellow aristocrats, to Sir William Hamilton, who forced his mistress to enact poses from his collection of Greek vases—are as mesmerizing as they are revealing.

Plants and Empire


Author: Londa L Schiebinger
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674043275
Category: Nature
Page: 320
View: 4416
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Plants seldom figure in the grand narratives of war, peace, or even everyday life yet they are often at the center of high intrigue. In the eighteenth century, epic scientific voyages were sponsored by European imperial powers to explore the natural riches of the New World, and uncover the botanical secrets of its people. Bioprospectors brought back medicines, luxuries, and staples for their king and country. Risking their lives to discover exotic plants, these daredevil explorers joined with their sponsors to create a global culture of botany. But some secrets were unearthed only to be lost again. In this moving account of the abuses of indigenous Caribbean people and African slaves, Schiebinger describes how slave women brewed the "peacock flower" into an abortifacient, to ensure that they would bear no children into oppression. Yet, impeded by trade winds of prevailing opinion, knowledge of West Indian abortifacients never flowed into Europe. A rich history of discovery and loss, "Plants and Empire" explores the movement, triumph, and extinction of knowledge in the course of encounters between Europeans and the Caribbean populations.

From Books to Bezoars

Sir Hans Sloane and His Collections
Author: Alison Walker,Michael Hunter,Arthur MacGregor
Publisher: British Library Board
ISBN: 9780712358804
Category: History
Page: 310
View: 8880
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This well-illustrated volume offers fresh perspectives on the great eighteenth-century physician, naturalist, and collector Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753), whose extensive holdings formed the basis of the British Museum and its offspring, the Natural History Museum and the British Library. The colonial milieu within which Sloane operated gets prominence here, particularly the time he spent in Jamaica. Attention is paid to his enormous network of acquaintances and correspondents throughout the world as well as to the way his collecting activities permeated every aspect of his life. Other essays consider the museum specimens accumulated by Sloane—both natural and man-made—shedding new light on his aims for acquiring and organizing them. A fascinating look at the man behind three of the United Kingdom's most famous museums, From Books to Bezoars will appeal to students and scholars of eighteenth century studies, early modern science, and the history of the book.

Dry Storeroom No. 1

The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum
Author: Richard Fortey
Publisher: Vintage Books USA
ISBN: 0307275523
Category: Nature
Page: 335
View: 1026
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Reveals the hidden treasures of London's Natural History Museum and the people, research, and passions that created the museum, in a study of the social history of the scientific accomplishments of the past two centuries.

Enlightenment

discovering the world in the eighteenth century
Author: Kim Sloan,Andrew Burnett
Publisher: British Museum Pubns Ltd
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 3896
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Reading the Rocks

How Victorian Geologists Discovered the Secret of Life
Author: Brenda Maddox
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1632869136
Category: Science
Page: 272
View: 776
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A rich and exuberant group biography of the early geologists, the people who were first to excavate from the layers of the world its buried history. The birth of geology was fostered initially by gentlemen whose wealth supported their interests, but in the nineteenth century, it was advanced by clergymen, academics, and women whose findings expanded the field. Reading the Rocks brings to life this eclectic cast of characters who brought passion, eccentricity, and towering intellect to the discovery of how Earth was formed. Geology opened a window on the planet's ancient past. Contrary to the Book of Genesis, the rocks and fossils dug up showed that Earth was immeasurably old. Moreover, fossil evidence revealed progressive changes in life forms. It is no coincidence that Charles Darwin was a keen geologist. Acclaimed biographer and science writer Brenda Maddox's story goes beyond William Smith, the father of English geology; Charles Lyell, the father of modern geology; and James Hutton, whose analysis of rock layers unveiled what is now called "deep time.†? She also explores the livesof fossil hunter Mary Anning, the Reverend William Buckland, Darwin, and many others--their triumphs and disappointments, and the theological, philosophical, and scientific debates their findings provoked. Reading the Rocks illustrates in absorbing and revelatory details how this group of early geologists changed irrevocably our understanding of the world.

Collecting Evolution

The Galapagos Expedition that Vindicated Darwin
Author: Matthew J. James
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199354626
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 5109
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In 1905, eight men from the California Academy of Sciences set sail from San Francisco for a scientific collection expedition in the Galapagos Islands, and by the time they were finished in 1906, they had completed one of the most important expeditions in the history of both evolutionary and conservation science. These scientists collected over 78,000 specimens during their time on the islands, validating the work of Charles Darwin and laying the groundwork for foundational evolution texts like Darwin's Finches. Despite its significance, almost nothing has been written on this voyage, lost amongst discussion of Darwin's trip on the Beagle and the writing of David Lack. In Collecting Evolution, author Matthew James finally tells the story of the 1905 Galapagos expedition. James follows these eight young men aboard the Academy to the Galapagos and back, and reveals the reasons behind the groundbreaking success they had. A current Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, James uses his access to unpublished writings and photographs to provide unprecedented insight into the expedition. We learn the voyagers' personal stories, and how, for all the scientific progress that was made, just as much intense personal drama unfolded on the trip. This book shares a watershed moment in scientific history, crossed with a maritime adventure. There are four tangential suicides and controversies over credit and fame. Collecting Evolution also explores the personal lives and scientific context that preceded this voyage, including what brought Darwin to the Galapagos on the Beagle voyage seventy years earlier. James discusses how these men thought of themselves as "collectors" before they thought of themselves as scientists, and the implications this had on their approach and their results. In the end, the voyage of the Academy proved to be crucial in the development of evolutionary science as we know it. It is the longest expedition in Galapagos history, and played a critical role in cementing Darwin's legacy. Collecting Evolution brings this extraordinary story of eight scientists and their journey to life.

Curiosity

A Cultural History of Early Modern Inquiry
Author: Barbara M. Benedict
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226042640
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 321
View: 4375
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In this striking social history, Barbara M. Benedict draws on the texts of the early modern period to discover the era's attitudes toward curiosity, a trait we learn was often depicted as an unsavory form of transgression or cultural ambition.

Inside the Lost Museum

Curating, Past and Present
Author: Steven Lubar
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674983297
Category: Art
Page: 416
View: 7473
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Museum lovers know that energy and mystery run through every exhibition. Steven Lubar explains work behind the scenes—collecting, preserving, displaying, and using art and artifacts in teaching, research, and community-building—through historical and contemporary examples, especially the lost but reimagined Jenks Museum at Brown University.

Slavery and the Culture of Taste


Author: Simon Gikandi
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400840112
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 392
View: 2051
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It would be easy to assume that, in the eighteenth century, slavery and the culture of taste--the world of politeness, manners, and aesthetics--existed as separate and unequal domains, unrelated in the spheres of social life. But to the contrary, Slavery and the Culture of Taste demonstrates that these two areas of modernity were surprisingly entwined. Ranging across Britain, the antebellum South, and the West Indies, and examining vast archives, including portraits, period paintings, personal narratives, and diaries, Simon Gikandi illustrates how the violence and ugliness of enslavement actually shaped theories of taste, notions of beauty, and practices of high culture, and how slavery's impurity informed and haunted the rarified customs of the time. Gikandi focuses on the ways that the enslavement of Africans and the profits derived from this exploitation enabled the moment of taste in European--mainly British--life, leading to a transformation of bourgeois ideas regarding freedom and selfhood. He explores how these connections played out in the immense fortunes made in the West Indies sugar colonies, supporting the lavish lives of English barons and altering the ideals that defined middle-class subjects. Discussing how the ownership of slaves turned the American planter class into a new aristocracy, Gikandi engages with the slaves' own response to the strange interplay of modern notions of freedom and the realities of bondage, and he emphasizes the aesthetic and cultural processes developed by slaves to create spaces of freedom outside the regimen of enforced labor and truncated leisure. Through a close look at the eighteenth century's many remarkable documents and artworks, Slavery and the Culture of Taste sets forth the tensions and contradictions entangling a brutal practice and the distinctions of civility.

Collecting: An Unruly Passion

Psychological Perspectives
Author: Werner Muensterberger
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400863473
Category: Art
Page: 320
View: 5714
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From rare books, valuable sculpture and paintings, the relics of saints, and porcelain and other precious items, through stamps, textiles, military ribbons, and shells, to baseball cards, teddy bears, and mugs, an amazing variety of objects have engaged and even obsessed collectors through the ages. With this captivating book the psychoanalyst Werner Muensterberger provides the first extensive psychological examination of the emotional sources of the never-ending longing for yet another collectible. Muensterberger's roster of driven acquisition-hunters includes the dedicated, the serious, and the infatuated, whose chronic restlessness can be curbed--and then merely temporarily--only by purchasing, discovering, receiving, or even stealing a new "find." In an easy, conversational style, the author discusses the eccentricities of heads of state, literary figures, artists, and psychoanalytic patients, all possessed by a need for magic relief from despair and helplessness--and for the self-healing implied in the phrase "I can't live without it!" The sketches here are diverse indeed: Walter Benjamin, Mario Praz, Catherine the Great, Poggio Bracciolini, Brunelleschi, and Jean de Berry, among others. The central part of the work explores in detail the personal circumstances and life history of three individuals: a contemporary collector, Martin G; the celebrated British book and manuscript collector Sir Thomas Phillipps, who wanted one copy of every book in the world; and the great French novelist Honoré de Balzac, a compulsive collector of bric-a-brac who expressed his empathy for the acquisitive passions of his collector protagonist in Cousin Pons. In addition, Muensterberger takes the reader on a charming tour of collecting in the Renaissance and looks at collecting during the Golden Age of Holland, in the seventeenth century. Throughout, we enjoy the author's elegant variations on a complicated theme, stated, much too simply, by John Steinbeck: "I guess the truth is that I simply like junk." Originally published in 1993. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

A voyage to the islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica


Author: Hans Sloane
Publisher: Рипол Классик
ISBN: 5881607465
Category: History
Page: 312
View: 8355
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A voyage to the islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica. With the natural history of the herbs and trees, four-footed beasts, fishes, birds, insects, reptiles, c. Of the last of those islands; to which is prefix'd, an introduction. Volume 1

All Creatures

Naturalists, Collectors, and Biodiversity, 1850-1950
Author: Robert E. Kohler
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400849713
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 442
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We humans share Earth with 1.4 million known species and millions more species that are still unrecorded. Yet we know surprisingly little about the practical work that produced the vast inventory we have to date of our fellow creatures. How were these multitudinous creatures collected, recorded, and named? When, and by whom? Here a distinguished historian of science tells the story of the modern discovery of biodiversity. Robert Kohler argues that the work begun by Linnaeus culminated around 1900, when collecting and inventory were organized on a grand scale in natural history surveys. Supported by governments, museums, and universities, biologists launched hundreds of collecting expeditions to every corner of the world. Kohler conveys to readers the experience and feel of expeditionary travel: the customs and rhythms of collectors' daily work, and its special pleasures and pains. A novel twist in this story is that survey collecting was rooted not just in science but also in new customs of outdoor recreation, such as hiking, camping, and sport hunting. These popular pursuits engendered a wide scientific interest in animals and plants and inspired wealthy nature-goers to pay for expeditions. The modern discovery of biodiversity became a reality when scientists' desire to know intersected with the culture of outdoor vacationing. General readers as well as scholars will find this book fascinating.

Mr. Peale's Museum

Charles Willson Peale and the First Popular Museum of Natural Science and Art
Author: Charles Coleman Sellers
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393057003
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 370
View: 6236
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Depicts how Charles Willson Peale helped revolutionize the concept of museums by designing his museum for everyone, not just specialists

The Origins of Museums

The Cabinet of Curiosities in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe
Author: Oliver Impey,Arthur MacGregor
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9781910807194
Category: Art
Page: 352
View: 6770
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* A reprint of the original 1985 edition with updated photographs* Thirty- three essays from scholarly contributors on the evolution of collecting, and how this lead to the formation of the modern museum* One of the first books to explore how collectors live with their objects, a subject which has become increasingly studied and popular The Ashmolean Museum is proud to make this important volume containing the fascinating story of the modern museum's beginnings available again. This ground-breaking book traces the story of collecting, which is the story of curiosity about objects and the world, by focusing on the nobility and specialists who laid the important groundwork for the current concept of museums. The first edition in 1985 sold out within a few months, the second a year or two later, and the third in 1989. There has been no reprint of the original edition since then. The topics covered by these essays are wide-ranging, and the scholarship is impeccable, enlightening, and full of unknown facts. It represents a broad-sweep of history that will captivate and surprise the expert and the interested reader alike.

To Have and To Hold


Author: Philipp Blom
Publisher: The Overlook Press
ISBN: 1468302183
Category: Art
Page: 345
View: 3780
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Blom's gripping narration and bizarre cast of eccentrics, visionaries, and fanatics provide a fascinating glimpse into how a pastime becomes an all-consuming passion. From amassing sacred relics to collecting celebrity memorabilia, the impulse to hoard has gripped humankind throughout the centuries. But what is it that drives people to possess objects that have no conceivable use? To Have and To Hold is a captivating tour of collectors and their treasures from medieval times to the present, from a cabinet containing unicorn horns and a Tsar's collection of teeth to the macabre art of embalmer Dr. Frederick Ruysch, the fabled castle of William Randolph Hearst, and the truly preoccupied men who stockpile food wrappers and plastic cups. An engrossing story of the collector as bridegroom, deliriously, obsessively happy, wed to his possessions, till death do us part.

On Collecting

An Investigation into Collecting in the European Tradition
Author: Susan Pearce
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135908168
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 456
View: 3107
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On Collecting examines the nature of collecting both in Europe and among people living within the European tradition elsewhere. Susan Pearce looks at the way we collect and what this tells us about ourselves and our society. She also explores the psychology of collecting: why do we bestow value on certain objects and how does this add meaning to our lives? Do men and women collect differently? How do we use objects to construct our identity? This book breaks new ground in its analysis of our relationship to the material world.