Christine Göttler

Christine Göttler is a historian of art with a particular interest in the intersections between the realms of art, religion, and science in the early modern period. While the major focus of her research has been on early modern northern Europe, she has always been interested in artworks, and artefacts that travelled across cultural, religious, and aesthetic boundaries and challenged traditional definitions of media and genres. Her current projects span such topics as collecting practices and collection spaces; the visual and spatial imagery of interiority; the interactions between various arts and crafts in early modern Europe, especially Antwerp; and historical aspects of artists’ materials and techniques, especially concerning the diverse uses of wax, papier-mâché, and, most recently, precious metals (gold, silver, and copper).

Until 2018, she was Professor and Head of the Department of Early Modern Art at the Institute of Art History at the University of Bern with which she remains associated as Professor Emerita. Prior to her appointment at the University of Bern (2009–2018), she was Professor and Chair of Art History at the University of Washington, Seattle (1998–2009), and also held research and/or teaching positions at the University of Zürich, the Freie Universität Berlin, and the Warburg Institute, London. She earned her Ph.D. in History of Art at the University of Zürich, Switzerland and achieved her professorship habilitation at the Freie University in Berlin, Germany. She served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator of six major collaborative research projects, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Marie Curie Actions, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, and the University of Bern.

Her professional awards include fellowships from the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, the Huntington Library (Los Angeles, CA), the International Research Center for Cultural History (Vienna), the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (Washington, D.C.), the J. Paul Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, CA), the New York Public Library, the Newberry Library (Chicago, IL), the Villa I Tatti (Firenze), and the Herzog August Bibliothek Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel). In Winter Term 2023, she was a fellow at the DFG Center for Advanced Studies “Imaginaria of Force” at the Universität Hamburg.

Currently (Spring Semester 2024) she is the Robert Janson-La Palme *76 Visiting Professor in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, where she is teaching a course on “Elemental Ecologies in Early Modern Art” and organizing the conference “Metamorphic Matter: Elemental Imagery in Early Modern Art” related to the theme.

For a complete list of research projects, fellowships, and awards, see curriculum vitae.