2014 CHAViC Summer Seminar

The Art of Science and Technology, 1750-1900

July 13-17
Worcester, Massachusetts


Sunday, July 13

10:00 Meet at Antiquarian Hall (AH), 185 Salisbury Street
Welcome and Introductions
Nan Wolverton, Director, CHAViC, AAS
10:30 Orienting the Week
Seminar Leader: Gregory Nobles, Professor of History; Director, Honors Program, Georgia Institute of Technology
11:00 Tour of the library, Antiquarian Hall (AH)
12:00-1:15 LUNCH Goddard Daniels House (GDH), 190 Salisbury Street
1:30-2:30 The Labor of Art (Council Room)
Greg Nobles


  • Laura Rigal, “Peale’s Mammoth,” in The American Manufactory: Art, Labor, and the World of Things in the Early Republic (Princeton, 1998), pp. 91-113. PDF
2:30 BREAK
3:00-4:30 The Technology Behind Printmaking in America (AH)
Lauren Hewes, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, AAS
5:00-8:00 Reception followed by Dinner at the Goddard Daniels House (GDH)


Monday, July 14

9:00-10:30 Introduction to AAS Online Resources and the Reading Room; Meet the Curators (AH—half of group to Orientation Room, half of group to Council Room)
10:30 BREAK (GDH)
11:00-12:15 Ornithological Gothic: John James Audubon and the Tale of the Golden Eagle (GDH)
Greg Nobles


  • John James Audubon, “The Golden Eagle,” in Ornithological Biography, or an Account of the Habits of the Birds of the United States of America; Accompanied by Descriptions of the Objects Represented in the Work Entitled The Birds of America, and Interspersed with Delineations of American Scenery and Manners, 5 vols. (1831-1839), II, pp. 464-468; reprinted in John James Audubon: Writings and Drawings, ed. Christophe Irmscher (New York, 1999), pp. 354-358. PDF
  • Christophe Irmscher, “Audubon at Large,” in The Poetics of Natural History: From John Bartram to William James (New Brunswick and London, 1999), pp. 188-235. PDF
12:30-1:30 LUNCH (GDH)
1:45-2:45 Visual Culture and Science (Council Room)
Nan Wolverton and Greg Nobles
View examples from the collection
3:00-5:00 Research on your own in the Library


Tuesday, July 15

9:00 Depart for Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, Boylston, MA
10:00-11:00 From Forest to Fashion: American Botanicals and Material Culture
Guest faculty: Susan Branson, Professor of History, Syracuse University


  • Anne Secord, “Botany on a Plate: Pleasure and the Power of Pictures in Promoting Early Nineteenth-Century Scientific Knowledge” in Isis, Vol. 93, No. 1 (March 2002), pp. 28-57. PDF
10:30 BREAK
11:00-1:00 Tour the botanical garden and box lunch
1:00 Return to Worcester
1:30-3:15 Demonstration on Ambrotypes & Tintypes (GDH)
France Scully Osterman, Rochester, NY
3:15 BREAK
3:30-5:00 Individual consultations with Greg Nobles, Susan Branson, and AAS staff
5:30 Dinner or cookout on the Goddard-Daniels patio


Wednesday, July 16

9:00- 10:00 Workshop: groups of 4 or 5 (Council Room)


  • Michael Gaudio, “Surface and Depth: The Art of Early American Natural History,” in Stuffing Birds, Pressing Plants, Shaping Knowledge, ed. Sue Ann Prince (Philadelphia, 2003), pp.55-73. PDF
10:30 BREAK
11:00 Workshop: group work (Council Room)
12:00-1:00 LUNCH (GDH)
1:00-3:00 Participant group presentations (GDH)
3:00-8:00 Free time or research in Library


Thursday, July 17

9:00 Group photo (GDH)
9:15-10:15 Worcester Polytechnic Institute student project/AAS collaboration: Scientific American as an online resource (GDH)
Steve Bullock and Dave Sampson (WPI professors)
Tori Miller and Tyler Alexander (WPI students)
10:15 BREAK


Using the Visual Culture of Science and Technology for Scholarship and Teaching
Greg Nobles
12:00-1:00 LUNCH (GDH)
1:00-2:00 Group Discussion and Concluding Comments (GDH)
Greg Nobles and Nan Wolverton
2:00-5:00 Departure or research in library


Additional background reading:

Georgia B. Barnhill, “The Dissemination of Technology through Book and Periodical Illustrations,” in The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association June 2008, pp. 45-55. PDF

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