Professor of Art History Jeff Chipps Smith's new book Kunstkammer: Early Modern Art and Curiosity Cabinets in the Holy Roman Empire has been released. It is distributed by University of Chicago Press in North America.
Kunstkammern, art and curiosity cabinets housed in a dedicated room or suite of chambers, were often filled with thousands of diverse and sometimes shocking objects reflecting the bounty of nature and human creativity. These could range from a cherry pit carved with dozens of faces to an intricate drinking cup fashioned from a rhinoceros horn. Whether as a setting for personal contemplation or a manifestation of the wealth and prestige of its owners, these proto-museums dazzled visitors of the time. This book offers the first in-depth comparative examination of the history, theory, organization and character of the major Kunstkammern in the Holy Roman Empire.
For more information or to purchase the book, visit The University of Chicago Press.