Art and Curiosity Cabinets of the Late Renaissance - A Contribution to the History of Collecting Julius Von Schlosser, Thomas Dacosta Kaufmann, Jonathan Blower

Getty Publications -
Paperback / softback
Publication date:
12 Jan 2021
Getty Publications
224 pages: 256 x 179 x 17mm


For the first time, the pioneering book that launched the study of art and curiosity cabinets is available in English. Julius von Schlosser's Die Kunst- und Wunderkammern der Spatrenaissance (Art and Curiosity Cabinets of the Late Renaissance) is a seminal work in the history of art and collecting. Originally published in German in 1908, it was the first study to interpret sixteenth- and seventeenth-century cabinets of wonder as precursors to the modern museum, situating them within a history of collecting going back to Greco-Roman antiquity. In its comparative approach and broad geographical scope, Schlosser's book introduced an interdisciplinary and global perspective to the study of art and material culture, laying the foundation for museum studies and the history of collections. Schlosser was an Austrian professor, curator, museum director, and leading figure of the Vienna School of art history whose work has not achieved the prominence of his contemporaries until now. This eloquent and informed translation is preceded by Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann's substantial introduction. Tracing Schlosser's biography and intellectual formation in Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, it contextualizes his work among that of his contemporaries, offering a wealth of insights along the way.

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann is Frederick Marquand Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Author and editor of numerous books, articles, and reviews, he has received honorary doctorates from universities in Brno and Dresden, among other distinctions. He is a fellow of the Swedish, Flemish, and Polish Academies of Sciences and of the American Academies in Rome and Berlin. Jonathan Blower is a translator of German texts on the visual arts.