Claudia Swan Associate Professor

Claudia Swan (PhD Columbia University), Associate Professor of Art History, studies and teaches 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. Plants and Flowers of the Renaissance, on Renaissance botanical illustrations; and Art, Science, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Holland: Jacques de Gheyn II (1565-1629), which studies the intersection of empiricism and witchcraft in Holland in the early seventeenth century through the work of the Dutch artist. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on early modern art, science, and collecting and on Dutch visual culture, and writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement. Professor Swan is co-editor with Londa Schiebinger of Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, Politics, and (forthcoming) Image. Imagination. Cognition, in addition to edited volumes on Art & Nature and on Early Modern Geometries. Swan has been a resident fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ; the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin; CRASSH, Cambridge University; and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study. In January 2016 she was Visiting Senior Fellow at Cambridge University, and in winter 2017 Visiting Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Amsterdam. Her forthcoming book is “Rarities of these Lands”: Encounters with the Exotic in Early Modern Holland. Her most recent article is “Fortunes at Sea: Mediated Goods and Dutch Trade ca. 1600,” in Sites of Mediation.

Program Area: Early Modern

Regional Specialization: Europe

Selected Publications

Edited by Christoph Lüthy, Claudia Swan, Paul Bakker and Claus Zittel, "Image, Imagination, and Cognition: Medieval and Early Modern Theory and Practice."

Claudia Swan, "Dutch Diplomacy and Trade in Rariteyten: Episodes in the History of Material Culture of the Dutch Republic."

Claudia Swan, "Fortunes at Sea: Mediated Goods and Dutch Trade, Circa 1600."

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."