On April 20, 21 and 22 of this year, Teylers Museum in Haarlem shall be host to a two-day international conference about museums and the loss of the encyclopedic ideal in the 19th and 20th centuries, taking its venue, a well-preserved 18th century museum as our point of reference. Prof. Wijnand Mijnhardt (Cultural History) will be the keynote speaker.
About the conference
The conference will deal with the question of how the relationship between science and religion, between the visual cultures of art and science, and between religion, ethics and aesthetics has changed over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, and how this affected each of these categories? How did such categories as ‘science’, ‘art’ and ‘the public’ emerge in this process? How did the universal scientist give way to the modern expert? How did research and pedagogy get disentangled? What meanings were attached to the word ‘museum’ and how did these change over time? To what extent can we speak of the creation of clear and meaningful boundaries in this process of differentiation and to what extent is the change merely cosmetic? And last but not least: do we witness a fading of such boundaries again today?
The conference is subdivided into 4 sessions:
- Teyler’s as a link in a international network, or ‘knowledge hub’.
- Physicotheology, bible criticism and the development of new scientific ideas.
- The waning of encyclopedism and the advent of specialised disciplines in a museum context.
- Fine art in a scientific museum - connections, tensions and possibilities.