The Fine Art of Rare Books in the History of Medicine: Botany, Artifice, and Wonder

DurerApril Oettinger, PhD


Wednesday, April 22, 2020
1 - 3 pm in Athenaeum 435 (4th floor) - Special Collections Library (Directions / Campus Map)
Registration Fee: $18

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This program will take place in two parts. First, participants will explore the artistic, literary, cultural, and medicinal dimensions of early printed botanical and garden treatises, broadly known as "Materia Medica."  This will be followed by an hour-long workshop that explores the legacy of the early modern botanical tradition in 19th-century herbals and gift books housed in Goucher's Special Collections.


To relate the medicinal qualities of plants and holistic gardening today to a vast tradition of ideas that guided 16th century botany and the history of gardens.

  • Great Piece of Turf - Albrecht Dürer

  • Mattioli Herbal Chameleon Plant Engraving


  • Lecture presentation
  • Workshop among Goucher’s Special Collections & Archives

About April Oettinger, PhD

April Ottinger

April Oettinger is a Professor of Visual and Material Culture at Goucher College. Since completing her PhD at the University of Virginia, she has taught at the University of Delaware, the University of Hartford, and for the Colgate University Study Abroad Program in Venice, Italy. Her most recent publications explore the art of 16th century Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto, the 1499 edition of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, and Michelangelo’s snowman, which is among the artist’s most famous ‘lost’ masterpieces. She is co-editor, along with Karen Hope Goodchild and Leopoldine Prosperetti, of Green Worlds in Early Modern Italy: Art and the Verdant Earth (Amsterdam University Press, 2019). She has been the recipient of a Fulbright Foundation Fellowship and the Dame Francis Yates Fellowship at the Warburg Institute, and more recently, of grants from the Delmas Foundation, the Renaissance Society of America, the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation (CASVA, National Gallery of Art), which have supported research for her current book project, titled, Animating Nature: Lorenzo Lotto and the Sublime Turn in 16th-Century Venetian Landscape Art, 1500-1550.