German Art and Culture in the Age of the Thirty Years' War

May 18, 2023  | 6:00pm ET

14th Gerald D. Feldman Memorial Lecture at the German Historical Institute Washington | Speaker: Ulinka Rublack (University of Cambridge)

The Gerald D. Feldman Memorial Lecture was established by the Friends of the German Historical Institute in 2010 to honor the legacy and achievements of Gerald D. Feldman (1937–2007). The lecture is generously supported by the many individual donations to the Friends of the German Historical Institute.

Early modern German culture is sometimes thought of as bookended by the ideas of Martin Luther and Johann Wolfgang Goethe, but little in between. This highly illustrated lecture shows how an examination of Germany´s material culture changes that view. It focuses on magnificent cabinets of curiosities and on the celebrated “Hortus Eystettensis”, the first ever book publication to illustrate just one garden. German history is often recounted as intensely local; yet German collections, trade, crafts, artistic and scholarly projects stimulated cultural interests in Europe and across the world, and equally fed off materials and technical achievements elsewhere. Culture provided a language of connection among courts that could be cleverly manipulated in that age of increasing religious confrontation.