Learn about the book, Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790-1830, that documents the symposium and the exhibition.
Click here to watch a webcast of the symposium.
OF PICTURES & SPECIMENS: Natural History in
Post-Revolutionary and Restoration France
Of Pictures & Specimens: Natural History in Post-Revolutionary and Restoration France was organized by the APS Museum in conjunction with its exhibition, Of Elephants & Roses: Encounters with French Natural History, 1790 – 1830. It brought together scholars from the United States and France. Included were presentations on topics related to natural history, from the role of artists and gardeners in botanical science and the representations of a giraffe’s African keepers to the influence of natural history on Balzac’s writing and on the birth of the social sciences. Participants brought interdisciplinary perspectives from material culture, the histories of art and science, visual studies, botany, decorative arts, and cultural history.
Of Pictures & Specimens was free of charge. All events took place in the APS’s Benjamin Franklin Hall at 427 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.
For talks of special interest to gardeners, click here.
To download a PDF flyer about the symposium, click here.
In Spring 2013, the APS will publish the symposium proceedings. Click here to learn more about the book.
The symposium and publication has been made possible by generous funding from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation. Thursday, December 1
6:00 p.m. 9:00-9:45 a.m.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Richard Burkhardt, Jr.
(Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
“Civilizing Specimens and Citizens at the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, 1793-1830″
Friday, December 2
Thursday, December 1
Welcome and introduction: Sue Ann Prince (Founding Director and Curator, APS Museum)
Session 1: About Gardens and Gardening
Chair: Carol Solomon (Visiting Associate Professor, Haverford College)
• Bernard Chevallier (Former Director, Musée des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau)
“Empress Josephine and Natural Science”
• Susan Taylor-Leduc (Independent Scholar, Associate Professor Trinity College, Paris)
“Josephine as Shepherdess: The Merinos at Malmaison”
• Paula Young Lee (Faculty Fellow, Tufts University)
“Of Cabbages and Kings: The Politics of Planting Vegetables at the Jardin des Plantes”
• Antoine Jacobsohn (Responsable du Potager du Roi, Versailles)
“Seed origins: Collecting, Breeding, and Selling New Varieties of Fruits and Vegetables in Post-Revolutionary France”
Session 2: Natural History and French Culture
Chair: Andrea Goulet (Associate Professor of Romance Languages, University of Pennsylvania)
• Claudine Cohen (Co-directrice: Programme de Recherches Interdisciplinaires “Biologie et Société” Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales)
“The Quest for ‘Lost Worlds’: Intellectual Revolutions and Mutations of the Imagination at the Turn of the 19th Century”
• Goran Blix (Associate Professor, Department of French and Italian, Princeton University)
“Social Species in the Comédie Humaine: Balzac’s Use of Natural History”
• John Tresch (Associate Professor, History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania)
“The Animal Series and the Birth of Socialism”
• Alain Lescart (Professor of French and Literature, Point Loma Nazarene University)
“An Egyptian Giraffe and Six Osage Indians: An Exotic Advocacy against the 1827 Censorship In France”
• Denise Davidson (Associate Professor, History, Georgia State University) 9:00-10:00 a.m.
“Domesticating the Exotic: the Giraffe Craze and French Consumer Culture”
Saturday, December 3
Session 3: Making Art, Communicating Science
Chair: Paula Young Lee (Faculty Fellow, Tufts University)
• Pierre-Yves Lacour (Maître de conférences en histoire moderne, l’Université de Montpellier III)
“Picturing Nature: The Engravings of the Annales du Muséum d’histoire naturelle, 1802-1813″
• Madeleine Pinault Sorensen (Chargée de recherches honoraire, musée du Louvre, Paris)
“Representing Animals with Empathy, 1793-1810 (Répresenter l’animal avec empathie)”
• Dorothy Johnson (Roy J. Carver Professor of Art History, University of Iowa)
“Botany and the Painting of Flowers: Intersections of the Natural Sciences and the Visual Arts in late 18th and 19th Century France”
• Daniel Harkett (Assistant Professor, Dept. of History of Art and Visual Culture, Rhode Island School of Design)
“Displaying Zarafa’s Keepers”
• Anne Lafont (Conseillère scientifique, Institut national d’histoire de l’art)
“Visual Terms of Cultural Encounter: The Australian Experiment by Petit, Lesueur, and Cuvier”
Session 4: Cultivating Useful Knowledge
Chair: Sara Gronim (Associate Professor of History, Long Island University)
• Elizabeth Hyde (Assistant Professor of History, Kean University)
“André Michaux and French Botanical Diplomacy in the Cultural Construction of Natural History in the Atlantic World”
• Elise Lipkowitz (Postdoctoral Fellow, Michigan Society of Fellows and Assistant Professor, Dept. of History, University of Michigan)
“The ‘Elephant’ in the Room: The French Seizure of the Dutch Stadholder’s Collection and the Cosmopolitan Ideals of the Scientific Republic of Letters”
Bernadette Bensaude Vincent (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) and Anne Lafont (Conseillère scientifique, Institut national d’histoire de l’art)
Sue Ann Prince (Founding Director and Curator, APS Museum)
Please contact the APS Museum at: email@example.com with any questions or comments.
Image Credit: P. J. Redouté, detail of Amaryllis josephinae from The Lillies, Courtesy of David Brind