Possessing Nature (Paperback)
Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (Studies on the History of Society and Culture #20)
University of California Press, 9780520205086, 449pp.
Publication Date: April 2, 1996
Drawing on extensive archives of visitors' books, letters, travel journals, memoirs, and pleas for patronage, Paula Findlen reconstructs the lost social world of Renaissance and Baroque museums. She follows the new study of natural history as it moved out of the universities and into sixteenth- and seventeenth-century scientific societies, religious orders, and princely courts. Findlen argues convincingly that natural history as a discipline blurred the border between the ancients and the moderns, between collecting in order to recover ancient wisdom and the development of new textual and experimental scholarship. Her vivid account reveals how the scientific revolution grew from the constant mediation between the old forms of knowledge and the new.