Claudia Swan Associate Professor

Claudia Swan (PhD Columbia University) teaches courses on northern European visual culture 1400-1700; art and science; the history of collecting; and the history of the imagination. She is the author of The Clutius Botanical Watercolors, a study of sixteenth-century botaical watercolors and their collection and use; Art, Science, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Holland: Jacques de Gheyn II, an account of the complexities of this Dutch artist’s varied works; and numerous articles on early modern Dutch art, art and science, and practice and theories of the imagination. Her most recent article, “Fortunes at Sea. Mediated Goods and Dutch Trade ca. 1600” traces the itinerary of exotic goods and the vicissitudes of trade with the Dutch during the dawn of the Golden Age. Swan is also co-editor (with Londa Schiebinger) of Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, Politics and (with Paul Bakker and Christoph Lüthy) of Image. Imagination. Cognition (forthcoming). She has held fellowships and grants from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, and the NEH. Professor Swan is currently working on two monographs. One examines the role of exotic goods and exoticism in the formation of the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century and the second will be titled something like “Mesoamerican Wonders at European Courts, or The Origins of Wunderkammer Collecting.”

Program Area: Early Modern

Regional Specialization: Europe

Selected Publications

Claudia Swan, "Lost in Translation: Exoticism in Early Modern Holland."

Claudia Swan, "Memory's Garden and Other Wondrous Excerpts: Ernst Brinck (1582-1649), Collector." Kritische Berichte 3 (2012): 5-19.

Claudia Swan, "Illustrated Natural History."

Claudia Swan, "Collecting Naturalia in the Shadow of Early Modern Dutch Trade."

Claudia Swan, "Eyes Wide Shut: Early Modern Imagination, Demonology, and the Visual Arts."

Claudia Swan, "From Blowfish to Flower Still Life Paintings: Classification and Its Images, circa 1600."

Claudia Swan, "Of Gardens and other Natural History Collections in Early Modern Holland: Modes of Display and Patterns of Observation."

Claudia Swan, "The Uses of Botanical Treatises in the Netherlands, c. 1600."

Claudia Swan, "Making Sense of Medical Collections in Early Modern Holland: The Uses of Wonder."

Carmen Niekrasz and Claudia Swan, "Art."