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Small Asian Wonders, Gabriella A. Bucci 2017 Gettysburg College

Small Asian Wonders, Gabriella A. Bucci

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

As curiosity grew in the Renaissance, so did the scope of collections of wonders. The Cricket Cage, Jade Screen, and Iron Dragon are three examples of rare collection items from the Far East. While these three east Asian small wonders may have been commonplace in their country of origin, they were considered marvelous to the collectors of Europe who had never seen objects such as these produced in their own countries. [excerpt]


Aurora: A Painting Of The Coming Dawn, Noa Leibson 2017 Gettysburg College

Aurora: A Painting Of The Coming Dawn, Noa Leibson

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

While collectors and scientists sought out the rarest and best preserved naturalia for their collections, others sought out and commissioned paintings and other forms of artifice to go beside them. One artist held in high regard during the era of curiosity cabinets was Guido Reni, artist of the famed ‘Aurora,’ a copy of which remains in the gallery today. Paintings like this one would have hung regally on the walls of curiosity cabinets, the beauty showing the potential of man, and the themes of nature and classics fitting right in with other pieces surrounding them. [excerpt]


Quartz And Prehnite: Minerals During The Renaissance, Shannon R. Zeltmann 2017 Gettysburg College

Quartz And Prehnite: Minerals During The Renaissance, Shannon R. Zeltmann

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Minerals were displayed in wonder rooms for their beauty and used by apothecaries for their medical properties and artists, for sculptures and pigments. Minerals during the Renaissance were collected and displayed in wonder rooms to illustrate the beauty of nature. Humanists would have categorized minerals by their external qualities- color, transparency, form, luster, and smell. Over time, geologists continue to study these external qualities when they are first analyzing minerals, and the internal properties. Today the six major factors in identifying minerals are cleavage, the tendency of minerals to break into flat surfaces; color; crystal form or how the form ...


Guardians Of Ink And Vellum: Ethiopian Magical Scrolls, Zachary A. Wesley 2017 Gettysburg College

Guardians Of Ink And Vellum: Ethiopian Magical Scrolls, Zachary A. Wesley

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Ethiopian magical scrolls are powerful tools to combat sickness and demons in Ethiopian folk belief. As works of art, they display influences from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian sources. The scroll showcased in the “Wonders of Nature and Artifice” Exhibition was graciously donated by Mike Hobor, Gettysburg College Class of 1969. A prolific traveler, Mike purchased this piece in an art shop in Rome along with two other scrolls. 1 The scroll is believed to come from the city of Gondar, and is believed to date to the eighteenth-century. [excerpt]


Blue-And-White Wonder: Ming Dynasty Porcelain Plate, Laura G. Waters 2017 Gettysburg College

Blue-And-White Wonder: Ming Dynasty Porcelain Plate, Laura G. Waters

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

This authentic Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) plate is a prime example of early export porcelain, a luminous substance that enthralled European collectors. The generous gift of Joyce P. Bishop in honor of her daughter, Kimberly Bishop Connors, Ming Dynasty Blue-and-White Plate is on loan from the Reeves Collection at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The plate itself is approximately 7.75 inches (20 cm) in diameter, and appears much deeper from the bottom than it does from the top. Gradually sloping forms are what make the dish so deceptively shallow. In fact, from the reverse, it appears closer in ...


Fossils: Digging Into The Past, Sidney N. Caccioppoli 2017 Gettysburg College

Fossils: Digging Into The Past, Sidney N. Caccioppoli

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Fossils collected in Renaissance collection cabinets were items of wonder and curiosity. Although sometimes mistaken for other pieces of naturalia, they were widely collected by owners of princely cabinets and scholarly collections.Though naturalists and collectors often kept fossils in their collections, they did not have the same understanding as we do today of what they are. Due to their belief in mythological monsters and naturalia with magical properties, there were often misinterpretations or mislabeled objects to something they were not. According to Kenseth’s “A World of Wonders in One Closet Shut,” some collectors believed that fossilized shark’s ...


A Latin Letter, Francesca M. Costa 2017 Gettysburg College

A Latin Letter, Francesca M. Costa

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

This manuscript was written sometime within the Renaissance, and can open up the world of a gentleman to us. Johannes Lampreicht would have been classically trained around the same time as he learned how to read, write, and count. Because of this, he could compose letters in Latin, and possibly Greek too. He mentions a few Greek authors, and seems well versed in their work. Throughout he uses many shorthand symbols to make writing faster, including an em-dash, and an ampersand. These do not help date the document, however, because they wereinvented by Cicero’s right-hand-slave Tiro in the first ...


Skeletons In The Closet, Kevin M. Isky 2017 Gettysburg College

Skeletons In The Closet, Kevin M. Isky

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Among the collections cabinets of the Renaissance, fish, in the forms of naturalia and artificialia, can be widely found. They were sought after for their beauty as well as their relation to the natural world. In the famous frontispiece to Ferrante Imperato’s Dell’historia naturale (1599), fish of varying kinds are hung against and atop the ceiling on either side of a large alligator. They are mixed between an assortment of crustaceans and shells, also sea creatures, including the prized nautilus shell found so abundantly in Renaissance culture. As seen in this frontispiece, fish could be found as decoration ...


Wondrous Cetaceans, Logan D. S. Henley 2017 Gettysburg College

Wondrous Cetaceans, Logan D. S. Henley

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

The Renaissance was named for the cultural rebirth it witnessed. It meant a decrease in the widespread artistic and scientific suppression of the Middle Ages. As a result, Europeans enjoyed a new exploratory enthusiasm, which brought them to the far corners of the world. The concept of exoticism was renewed by European contact with places like China and Brazil. But as well as new cultural connections being bolstered, immense scientific discovery was going on. Science, then named natural philosophy, was seeing breakthrough after breakthrough. Scientists and interested persons brought knowledge and specimens from far and wide together in curiosity cabinets ...


19th Century Writings On The Grand Tour, Emily E. Wilcox 2017 Gettysburg College

19th Century Writings On The Grand Tour, Emily E. Wilcox

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Two collections of writings, found in the glass cabinet on the left wall of our Wonder Cabinet, contain the descriptions of two travelers’ times abroad during the Grand Tour. The first item is a travel journal written by Henry Louis Baugher, son of Pennsylvania (now Gettysburg) College’s second president, Henry Lewis Baugher. The journal was generously donated to Gettysburg College’s Special Collections and College Archives by Gary Hawbaker, class of 1966. Beneath the travel journal you’ll find a collection of letters written by Louisa Augusta Webb about the tales of her and her sisters’ travels. This compilation ...


Ortelius's Map Of The World And Homann's Ship Model Map, Jane C, Fitzpatrick 2017 Gettysburg College

Ortelius's Map Of The World And Homann's Ship Model Map, Jane C, Fitzpatrick

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Abraham Ortelius and Johann Baptist Homann were very successful cartographers who benefitted from the rising trend in curiosity cabinets during the Renaissance. Ortelius lived from 1527-1598 and was born in Antwerp, Belgium, and Homann became famous in Nuremberg, Germany during his life from 1663-1724. [excerpt]


Book Review: Baroque Naples And The Industry Of Painting: The World In The Workbench, Jesse Locker 2017 Portland State University

Book Review: Baroque Naples And The Industry Of Painting: The World In The Workbench, Jesse Locker

Art and Design Faculty Publications and Presentations

A brief review of Christopher Marshall's "Baroque Naples and the Industry of Painting: The World in the Workbench," published by Yale University Press in 2016.


Wonders Of Nature And Artifice, Schmucker Art Gallery 2017 Gettysburg College

Wonders Of Nature And Artifice, Schmucker Art Gallery

Schmucker Art Catalogs

A stuffed blowfish, a meticulously-drawn insect, a ravishing lily, and a rhinoceros horn carved with scenes of plants and animals—these were among the wonders of nature and artifice, the marvels that fueled the Renaissance quest for knowledge. This exhibition explores the intellectual and aesthetic motivations of Renaissance naturalists and collectors, whose wonders of nature and artifice were displayed in elaborate gardens, illustrated books, and remarkable cabinets of curiosities. Collectors were driven by curiosity and a sense of wonder about what seemed to be an ever-expanding world. Students from Prof. Felicia Else’s upper-level art history course and Kay Etheridge ...


Rhinoceros Horn Libation Cup, Erin C. Harten 2017 Gettysburg College

Rhinoceros Horn Libation Cup, Erin C. Harten

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

On display in the “Wonders of Nature and Artifice” exhibit at Gettysburg College is an exquisitely carved Chinese rhinoceros horn cup decorated with many images of animals, from dragons to tortoises.The rhinoceros horn has been noted by the Chinese as early as the T’ang dynasty (618-907) to have magical properties, and it was believed that when a poisonous liquid was poured into a rhino horn, the horn would change colors to alert to the presence of poison.Due to these magical properties, rhinoceros horns have been regarded as especially valuable. [excerpt]


Butterflies And Rebirth, Meredith E. Brown 2017 Gettysburg College

Butterflies And Rebirth, Meredith E. Brown

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

During the Renaissance, collectors saw Morpho butterflies as beautiful, elegant, and rare creatures. Their exotic origin and sophistication made these fascinating creatures the subjects of scientific observation, decoration, and symbolism. Butterflies of the Morpho genus include a wide variety of marvelous, striking, and beautiful species. Home to South and Central America, Morpho butterflies thrive in the rainforests of Nicaragua, Colombia, and Venezuela. When Renaissance Europeans began exploring American rainforests, they were quickly captivated by these butterflies. Morphos feature vivid blue coloration and iridescence on the dorsal side of their wings as well as a yellow-brown coloration on the other side ...


In Defense Of His Holiness: The Cellini Plaque, Christopher J. Condon 2017 Gettysburg College

In Defense Of His Holiness: The Cellini Plaque, Christopher J. Condon

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

The plaque depicting Cellini was donated to Gettysburg College by Reverend Jeremiah Zimmerman, Class of 1873, who later became a lecturer at Syracuse University and a frequent benefactor of Gettysburg College. A highly educated alum, Reverend Zimmerman became a clergyman and traveled the world for over a decade to further his studies, ranging from Asian culture to ancient coinage.

The plaque itself measures 32” x 26.75” x 2.5”, is of considerable weight for a porcelain plate, and is painted in the 19th century academic style to offer a dramatic interpretation of Benvenuto Cellini’s actions during the 1527 ...


16th Century Antiphon, Abigail K. Major 2017 Gettysburg College

16th Century Antiphon, Abigail K. Major

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

The Renaissance era, which spanned from the 14th century until the 16th century, served as a transitional period. Considered to be a period of rebirth, the Renaissance commenced a revival in culture, literature, and the arts throughout Europe. The 16th century antiphon not only signifies that music was indeed an important aspect during the Renaissance, but is also tangible evidence that choral music, and more specifically Gregorian chant, were prominent forms of musical expression.


Under The Wing Of A Creature Of The Night, Julia M. Chin 2017 Gettysburg College

Under The Wing Of A Creature Of The Night, Julia M. Chin

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Magnificent in its sheer power and beauty, this owl wing has a wingspan of 18 inches and measures 10 inches from the shoulder bone to the secondary feathers. Wings such as the one displayed play a vital role in the lifestyle of owls and other hunting birds who fulfill their dietary requirements through stealthy foraging in the dark of the night. Being predatory animals, an owl depends upon its wings as a weapon, equipping it with an arsenal worthy of any hunter. Because of their composition of downy feathers, soft fringes, and comb-like primary feathers, these light appendages create less ...


Artemis: Depictions Of Form And Femininity In Sculpture, Laura G. Waters 2017 Gettysburg College

Artemis: Depictions Of Form And Femininity In Sculpture, Laura G. Waters

Student Publications

Grecian sculpture has been the subject of investigation for centuries. More recently, however, emphasis in the field of Art History on the politics of gender and sexuality portrayal have opened new avenues for investigation of those old statues. In depicting gender, Ancient Greek statuary can veer towards the non-binary, with the most striking examples being works depicting Hermaphroditos and ‘his’ bodily form. Yet even within the binary, there are complications. Depictions of the goddess Artemis are chief among these complications of the binary, with even more contradiction, subtext, and varied interpretation than representations of Amazons. The numerous ways Artemis has ...


Satirical Imagery Of The Ramesside Period: A Socio-Historical Narrative, Keely A. Wardyn 2017 Minnesota State University, Mankato

Satirical Imagery Of The Ramesside Period: A Socio-Historical Narrative, Keely A. Wardyn

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

During a short period in New Kingdom Egypt (c. 1550-1070 BCE) artwork of an interesting nature was created in a small workers’ village called Deir el-Medina. These artworks often feature animals with human characteristics: mice dress as noblewomen, foxes play lutes, cats are geese herdsmen, and lions play board games. Satirical drawings, as they are referred to, were created by the craftsmen who decorated the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. These drawings poke fun at the rigid and formal decoration of imperial spaces. However, these artworks were more than comic relief for the artists; they also reflect the ...


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