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Bettie Allison Rand Lectures in Art: Ulinka Rublack, University of Cambridge
September 12, 2013 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
“Strange Fashions and Bourgeois Splendour: The Costume Books of Matthaeus and Veit Konrad Schwarz”
The costume books of Matthaeus Schwarz, head accountant of the Augsburg Fugger merchant firm, and his son Veit Konrad are unique documents of bourgeois fashion in sixteenth-century Germany. Historians have mostly focused on what these books tell us about subjectivity during a period marked by bitter religious divisions and severe financial crisis. This lecture will focus on the books’ primary concern to present the diversifying fashion designs of the time, a process in which the accountant and his son took part as creators. I argue that the Renaissance as an aesthetic movement needs to be recovered through this engagement with fashion by widening social circles and, in particular, young men. The talk will present findings of a pioneering reconstruction of one of Matthaus Schwarz’s outfits for the Imperial Diet in Augsburg in 1530, undertaken in collaboration between Ulinka Rublack and acclaimed costume designer Jenny Tiramani in 2011.
Dr. Ulinka Rublack is Professor in Early Modern European History at Cambridge University and a Fellow of St John’s College. She is the author, most recently, of Dressing UP: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe, Oxford University Press, which won the 2011 Roland H. Bainton Prize and was one of six finalists for the world’s largest non-fiction history book prize, the Cundill Prize. She has lectured at the Hay Literary Festival in the United Kingdom and presented several public as well as conference key note lectures in the UK and US. Among her other book publications are, as editor, A Concise Companion to History, Oxford University Press, and, as sole author, Reformation Europe, Cambridge University Press, and The Crimes of Women in Early Modern Germany, Oxford University Press.