Skip to content

Karl Johns on Schlosser’s Art and Curiosity Cabinets of the Late Renaissance

2 May 2021

Julius Schlosser breaks yet another barrier

Review of:

Julius von Schlosser, Art and Curiosity Cabinets of the Late Renaissance: A Contribution to the History of Collecting, edited by Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, translation by Jonathan Blower, Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2021, 222 pp., 7 colour and 103 b/w illustrations, 1 line drawing, paperback US $65.00, UK £55.00, ISBN 978-1-60606-665-2. 

Karl Johns (Independent) 24/KJ1

Abstract: This is the first book by Julius Schlosser to appear in English. Written in 1907, it offers an excellent translation of a text that is unusually difficult in many ways. It documents the history of collecting in the era before the first art museums, before the definitions of art we are familiar with, and is based on his work as curator of the Ambras collection then in Vienna and now largely reinstalled in the castle near Innsbruck. It gives insight into one aspect of Schlosser’s early work, but not yet into the better known methodological and theoretical issues that occupied him later.

Key words: museums history, museums bibliography, art collecting, Habsburg art collecting, Kunstkammer, Kunstschrank, art and magic, amulet, art and superstition, early musical instruments

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: