Biology Drift 21, Rm. 005 Organized Session
27 Jul 2019 09:00 AM - 11:45 AM(Europe/Amsterdam)
20190727T0900 20190727T1145 Europe/Amsterdam "Imago" - Stories from the Margins of Global Insect Studies, 18th to 20th Centuries

Since Janice Neri's magisterial book „The insect and the image", insects and their images have been put firmly on the map of the histories of science, visual culture and education. Further studies in the field have appeared recently but we are still lacking a comprehensive account of the importance of illustration in entomological studies. Our panel brings together case studies spanning the globe from the 18th to the 20th century to show the variety in which image production was used in processes of entomological knowledge formation and dissemination. The practitioners and institutions of these processes have been largely overlooked as they were at the margins of „professional science." Women, non-academic illustrators, local informants and artisans as well as workshops, collections and schools played an important role but remain largely unacknowledged. At the same time, being able to draw and produce images was seen as an important step of making a career in science, universities and administration. We will use the technical term "imago" – important in entomology as one of the stages of insect development – to reflect upon the processes and changes in human-insect relationships since the 18th century. Taking a longue durée as well as global perspective, we aim to show that scientific communities consisted of a large variety of actors. As media, techniques and materials differed widely in the period under consideration, we would also like to address questions concerning the materiality of insect images as well as the diversity of media.

Organized by Dominik Huenniger

Drift 21, Rm. 005 History of Science Society 2019 meeting@hssonline.org

Since Janice Neri's magisterial book „The insect and the image", insects and their images have been put firmly on the map of the histories of science, visual culture and education. Further studies in the field have appeared recently but we are still lacking a comprehensive account of the importance of illustration in entomological studies. Our panel brings together case studies spanning the globe from the 18th to the 20th century to show the variety in which image production was used in processes of entomological knowledge formation and dissemination. The practitioners and institutions of these processes have been largely overlooked as they were at the margins of „professional science." Women, non-academic illustrators, local informants and artisans as well as workshops, collections and schools played an important role but remain largely unacknowledged. At the same time, being able to draw and produce images was seen as an important step of making a career in science, universities and administration. We will use the technical term "imago" – important in entomology as one of the stages of insect development – to reflect upon the processes and changes in human-insect relationships since the 18th century. Taking a longue durée as well as global perspective, we aim to show that scientific communities consisted of a large variety of actors. As media, techniques and materials differed widely in the period under consideration, we would also like to address questions concerning the materiality of insect images as well as the diversity of media.

Organized by Dominik Huenniger

The Travails of Traveling Natural History ArtistsView Abstract
Organized Session 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM (Europe/Amsterdam) 2019/07/27 07:00:00 UTC - 2019/07/27 07:30:00 UTC
This paper explores the material conditions under which two English artists, John Abbot and John William Lewin, produced magnificent entomological drawings in foreign settings. In the 1770s Abbot travelled to southeastern backwoods of North America and Lewin travelled in the 1790s to Australia. Although Abbot and Lewin did not know each other, their stories are joined by their association with Dru Drury, a jeweler and amateur entomologist, who sponsored both artists’ journeys. These artists worked in difficult conditions, including rugged terrain, political instability, illness, isolation, and the scarcity of art supplies, all of which put stress on their job of depicting as accurately as possible arthropods found in remote and exotic locales. Even small annoying things like flies eating the paint off watercolor drawings disrupted the art-making process. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to producing entomological drawings was the necessity of building an extensive insect collection. Lewin and Abbot had to become specimen hunters as well as accomplished artists and field naturalists. Both Abbot and Lewin were ambitious and planned to return to London to publish their drawings as illustrated natural history books, following the tradition established by Maria Sibylla Merian and Mark Catesby. However, neither artist returned to Britain, and their paths to publication turned out to be much more difficult than they had expected. This paper describes how these artists produced art in British imperial outposts and how this artwork fared as it travelled through global networks of exchange.
Presenters
BT
Beth Tobin
University Of Georgia
Teaching Entomology through Images: Insect Representation in Wallcharts between the Nineteenth and Twentieth CenturyView Abstract
Organized Session 09:30 AM - 10:00 AM (Europe/Amsterdam) 2019/07/27 07:30:00 UTC - 2019/07/27 08:00:00 UTC
The presentation focuses on how insects have been represented and taught in schools and universities between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, often in relation to matters like public health, economic botany or agriculture. As argued by Massimiano Bucchi (1998), the “golden age” for such a genre of didactic communication is to be located between 1870 and 1920. In this period several different kinds of wallcharts were produced, printed, and sold in large quantities thanks to the improvement in lithography: from the collection published by the German Rudolf Leuckart and Hinrich Nitsche (1877-1892) to the collection edited by the French Rémy Perrier & Cépède (1880-1930). Insects were present in many of these collections with peculiar visual languages and styles of representation. In many universities handmade wallcharts were also prepared by students and professors. It was the case of the anonymous collection realized by the zoologists of the University of Padova at the beginning of the twentieth century (https://phaidra.cab.unipd.it/detail_object/o:12794), which tells us a lot about the importance of visual representation in zoological education and knowledge-making of the time. It reveals how subjects were chosen and how to represent insects by looking at the major printed collections, which marked a standard in the field. Looking at both history of science and history of education, this presentation aims at highlighting the different ways in which insects have been represented and used in science education as popular visual educational tools and tries to understand the circulation of some “favourite” motives.
Presenters Elena Canadelli
University Of Padova
Intellectuals, Illustrators, and Insects: Three Stories from Continental European Entomology, 1764-1812View Abstract
Organized Session 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM (Europe/Amsterdam) 2019/07/27 08:15:00 UTC - 2019/07/27 08:45:00 UTC
By using three different examples from Denmark, France and Germany, this presentation highlights the diversity of image production in the formation process of scientific entomology in Europe. It will explain methodological debates around making knowledge claims as well as the social contexts of late 18th century entomology. In 1764, the Regensburg parson Jacob Christian Schaeffer had trained a considerable number of illustrators to assist him in producing his entomological textbooks. Concerning the training of his helpers, he used a term usually restricted to the training of dogs: “abgerichtet”. Hence, social superiority claims played an important part in the development of the discipline. The authors of entomological handbooks were largely university-trained scholars who employed illustrators from a range of social backgrounds. This is especially apparent in the lavishly illustrated “Papillons d'Europe, peints d'après nature“ which was published in Paris in eight volumes from 1779 to 1792. The wealthy bureaucrat and collector Gigot D’Orcy employed almost 20 engravers and illustrators from France and Germany. This work exemplifies the collaborative nature of entomological book production. It also highlights the importance of women, as one of the contributors was the Frankfurt illustrator Maria Eleonora Hochecker. The professionalization of entomology, especially in its applied aspects however meant that formal training was restricted to men. At the beginning of the 19th century applied entomology was mainly connected to the establishment of scientific forestry. An example from the forestry school at Kiel, then belonging to Denmark and the use of images there will round off this presentation.
Presenters Dominik Huenniger
University Of Hamburg
"Ideal Specimens": Butterfly Nature Prints, Entomology, and the Decorative Arts in Early 20th Century JapanView Abstract
Organized Session 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM (Europe/Amsterdam) 2019/07/27 08:45:00 UTC - 2019/07/27 09:15:00 UTC
This paper examines the materiality and functions of butterfly nature printing, so called lepidochromy, in early 20th-­‐century Japan. This technique complicates the relationship between specimen and image as well as between entomology and the decorative arts, but has to date remained on the margins of scholarly attention. In lepidochromy, the colorful scales that form the patterns of butterfly wings are transferred to paper or other materials, while the insect body is drawn in by hand, producing specimen/illustration hybrids. The Nawa Entomological Institute in Gifu, a small semi-­public institution otherwise focused on research into agricultural pests and other aspects of applied entomology, patented a specific lepidochromy technique and built a workshop to manufacture large numbers of prints. These were used to make books and cards, marketed to researchers and educators as “ideal specimens”, as well as decorative arts such as paper fans, silk kimono belts, or umbrellas. The products, which mainly made use of butterflies collected in colonial Taiwan, were sold in Japan and Europe. The paper will show how the images were seen to serve both epistemic and aesthetic purposes: As an easily mobilized and durable form of specimen, they were produced for research and educational functions in a time of exponentially growing insect collections. As a mass-­‐ producible and yet individualized form of illustration, they also fit the contemporary market’s demand for Japanese decorative arts and authentic representations of nature. Through these activities, the institute also expanded, as the paper argues, its definition of applied entomology.
Presenters Kerstin Pannhorst
Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin / Max Planck Institute For The History Of Science
Artisan Entomologists: Stories from the Porcelain Manufactories of EuropeView Abstract
Organized Session 11:15 AM - 11:45 AM (Europe/Amsterdam) 2019/07/27 09:15:00 UTC - 2019/07/27 09:45:00 UTC
In the eighteenth century, European porcelain became a critical site for the study of insects. Its pristine, white body made it ideally suited for capturing the incandescent colors of the rapidly growing number of both “local” and “exotic” species. Meanwhile the smooth, rounded forms of most porcelain wares (i.e. cups, saucers, tea- and coffeepots) allowed for the easy illustration of the different stages in the lifecycle of insects. The stories that have been told about these illustrations have been largely ones of reproduction, as scholars have searched for the graphic sources of the images in question. Their efforts reveal that painters at manufactories like the one at Meissen—the first to produce “true” or hard-paste porcelain in Europe—were aware of the work of earlier interpreters of the insect world, such as Jacob Hoefnagel and Maria Sibylla Merian. They do not, however, account for why entire table services were decorated with insects, as is the case with the “bee pattern” service made at the Meissen manufactory beginning in the 1740s. Nor do they explain why by the middle of the nineteenth century many porcelain painters were listed in the relevant sources as entomologists (Entomologen). As I will argue, the making of porcelain and the study of insects became increasingly intertwined over the course of the eighteenth century, as princely and private cabinets were opened to painters and modelers in the hopes of inspiring them in their designs. By such means the first communities of “artisan entomologists” took flight.
Presenters
GS
Gabriella Szalay
Renke B. And Pamela M. Thye Fellow In The Busch-Reisinger Museum/ Harvard Art Museums
University of Georgia
University of Padova
University of Hamburg
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Renke B. and Pamela M. Thye Fellow in the Busch-Reisinger Museum/ Harvard Art Museums
Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck Institute for History of Art
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