The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Ways of Knowing in the Renaissance

Heyden, Pieter van der. Superbia (Pride), 1557
Cranach, Lucas, the elder. The First Tournament, 1506
Raimondi, Marcantonio. Il Morbetto (The Plague or The Plague of Phrygia), 1516
Lucas van Leyden. The Poet Virgil Suspended In A Basket, 1525
Hogenberg, Francis. City Plans of Mexico, 1572
Bruegel, Pieter, I. The Seven Virtues: Fides (Faith), 1559
Saenredam, Jan. Eve Giving Adam the Forbidden Fruit, 1604
Boyvin, Rene. Médée, poursuivie par Jason, s'enfuit (Flight of Medea, Pursued by Jason), 1563
Aldegrever, Heinrich. The Good Samaritan: Robbers Surprising a Man, 1554
Aldegrever, Heinrich. The Good Samaritan Treating His Wounds with Oil and Wine, 1554
Passe, Crispijn de, I. Terra (Earth), 1590
Coecke van Aelst, Pieter, the elder. Les Moeurs et Fachons de Faire De Turcs (The Customs and Fashions of the Turks), 1530-1538
Galle, Theodor. Gun Powder, 1580
Goltzius, Hendrik. The Venetian Ball, 1584

Graduate Student Research on Prints from the UAMA Collection

February 23 – June 2, 2013

In my seminar held in fall semester 2012, I worked with graduate students from the programs in Art History and in the Division of Late Medieval and Reformation Studies (Department of History). Together we explored the theoretical and practical processes at work in the production of knowledge in early modern prints. We also critically interrogated the theoretical and practical processes implemented by modern scholars in creating contemporary knowledge about the past. In our explorations, we discovered over and over again that “ways of knowing” always also meant “ways of interpreting” and that, in the study of art and history, the philosophical branches of epistemology and hermeneutics were thoroughly intertwined. The ultimate goal of the seminar was for the students to bring their methodological and historical insights to bear on some of the Renaissance prints in the University of Arizona Museum of Art’s collection. This exhibition offers a view onto their research. Study of the prints selected by the students suggests ways of knowing about early modern gender roles, human behavior, confessional and social identities, “foreign” places and customs, technology, nature and history. Critically engaging with the ways in which nature, culture, society, and technology were given shape and understood in the past will hopefully cause us to reflect on how we understand these same phenomena in our present, and on what actions we take based on that understanding. For the students, the seminar and its associated research were also about becoming aware of the ways they, as young scholars working in their respective disciplines, constructed and articulated knowledge about the past, and thus about becoming aware of their own roles in academic scholarship and in history itself.

Pia F. Cuneo
Professor, History of Art
Division of Art History, School of Art