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 Centre for Cultural History (Vienna), the Centre 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).
For a complete list of research projects, fellowships, and awards, see curriculum vitae.