Marta Ajmar is Head of Programme for the V&A/Royal College of Art programme in History of Design; she led the Renaissance and Early Modern strand until 2012. She led the research for and co-curated the major V&A exhibition ‘At Home in Renaissance Italy' (2006). Her research interests lie principally in the material culture of Renaissance and Early Modern Italy and the Mediterranean world. She has published widely on the domestic interior, gender, eroticism, sociability, the material culture of childhood and ‘global’ objects. More recently she has been focusing on two broad areas: health and wellbeing and artisanal practices.
Maxine Berg is a Professor of History at the University of Warwick, where she has taught since 1998 and where she co-directs the Global History and Culture Centre. Her research interests include global history, especially Asia and Europe in the early modern period; history of knowledge and technology; history of material culture, especially textiles, porcelain and luxury manufactured goods; and history writing and historiography, 1920s-1960s. She has just completed a 4-year European Research Council Fellowship Project entitled ‘Europe’s Asian Centuries: Trading Eurasia 1600-1830.’ She is co-editing Goods from the East: Trading Eurasia 1600-1800 (forthcoming). She has written or co-edited several books on luxury goods in early modern Europe, including Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2005), Luxury in the Eighteenth Century: Debates, Desires and Delectable Goods (2002), and Consumers and Luxury in Europe 1650-1850 (1999). She recently co-edited Writing the History of the Global: Challenges for the Twenty-first Century (2013).
Marjolijn Bol’s research focuses on the interdependence of the history of art and the history of materials, techniques and science. She gained her PhD thesis in art history at Utrecht University: ‘Oil and the Translucent: Varnishing and Glazing in Practice, Recipes and Historiography, 1100-1600.’ Between 2012 and 2014 she worked on two postdoctoral research projects at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, ‘Crafting Splendor and Examining Light: The Artisan's Contribution to the Study of Optics, 1100-1700’, ‘Golden Wood and Panels of Porphyry: Appraising and Examining the Art of Ersatz in Pre- and Early Modern Times.’ At the same time she worked on the DFG research project ‘Natura-Materia-Artificio: Die Reflexion von Naturmaterialien in bildender Kunst und Kunsttheorie vom 15. bis ins frühe 18. Jahrhundert’ at the University of Hamburg. In 2014 she was awarded a 4-year postdoctoral research grant by the Dutch Science Fund (NWO) for the project ‘Art and Deception: Functions, Techniques and Effects of Material Mimesis’. She now works on this project at the University of Amsterdam (Department of Conservation & Restoration) and the Max Planck Institute in Berlin.
Michael Bycroft is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the Department of History, University of Warwick. He studies the interactions between experimental research, natural history, and artisanal practice in early modern Europe. At present his main project is a book on gemology in early modern France, provisionally titled ‘Jewellers, Travellers and the Science of Gems, c. 1630-1830.’ He studied at the Universities of Canterbury and Toronto before completing a doctorate at the University of Cambridge in 2013 and a one-year fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. As well as his gems monograph, he is writing papers on the experimental research of Charles Dufay (1698-1739), the role of French scientists in the rococo movement in the decorative arts, and the accreditation of mineral waters in early modern France.
Helen Clifford has worked on the early modern precious metal and luxury trades in London, for both academic publication and major public exhibitions. She is an Honorary Fellow at Warwick University. Between 2010-2014 she was part of two major projects relating to the East India Company, one at Warwick: ‘Trading Eurasia Goods from the East 1600-1830', funded by the European Research Council; and ‘The East India Company at Home 1757-1857’, based at University College London and funded by the Leverhulme Trust. She is currently working on a history of the Grocers’ Company from 1650-1850, and is the curator of the Swaledale Museum in Reeth.
Sven Dupré is Professor of History of Knowledge at the Institute for Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin and Research Group Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. He is currently working on a monograph on Renaissance cultures of optics, and a book project (with Christine Göttler) on the inventory of the possessions of the Portuguese merchant-banker Emmanuel Ximenes in early seventeenth-century Antwerp.
Hazel Forsyth is Senior Curator at the Museum of London. Her work includes a 2013 exhibition on the Cheapside Hoard. She published a catalogue of this exhibition entitled London's Lost Jewels: The Cheapside Hoard (2013).
Marieke Hendriksen received her PhD in the history of medicine from Leiden University in 2012. She has held fellowships at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and has a broad interest in the material culture of eighteenth-century medicine. Her current projects focus on the use of minerals, particularly metals and gemstones, in eighteenth-century Dutch chemistry and medicine, and on the exchange of knowledge about glass-making techniques in the same circles and period. Marieke has published a number of peer-reviewed articles and a monograph based on her PhD thesis recently. She blogs about her research on The Medicine Chest and The Recipes Project Blog.
Karin Hofmeester is a senior researcher at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam and professor of Jewish Culture at the University of Antwerp. Her main fields of interest are global labour history, global commodity chains, including the diamond commodity chain, and modern Jewish history. Recent publications related to the topic of the workshop include:
Together with Bernd Grewe she edited the volume Luxury in Global Perspective: Objects and Practices, 1600-2000 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in October 2015).
‘Shifting trajectories of diamond processing: from India to Europe and back, from the fifteenth century to the twentieth’, Journal of Global History, volume 8, no 1 (2013), pp 25-49.
‘Les diamants, de la mine à la bague : pour une histoire globale du travail au moyen d'un article de luxe’, Le Mouvement Social, vol 241, no 4 (2012), pp. 65-84.
‘Working for Diamonds from the 16th to the 20th Century’, in Marcel van der Linden and Leo Lucassen (eds), Working on Labor: Essays in Honor of Jan Lucassen (Leiden: Brill 2012), pp. 19-46.
Luca Molà is Professor of Early Modern Europe at the European University Institute in Florence. His research focuses on the history of the Italian Renaissance, on the economic and social history of Europe in the early modern period—particularly trading communities and commerce, artisans and industrial production, and the culture of technological change—and on the first age of globalisation.
Marcia Pointon was Professor of History of Art at the University of Sussex and, from 1992, Pilkington Professor of History of Art at Manchester University. She is now Professor Emeritus in History of Art at the University of Manchester and Research Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She has held many Fellowships including at the National Portrait Gallery, the Getty Research Institute, and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. She currently holds a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship in connection with the completion of her book Diamond (forthcoming 2017). Her books include Hanging the Head: Portraiture and Social Formation in Eighteenth-century England (1993) and Strategies for Showing: Women, Possession and Representation in English Visual Culture 1665-1800 (1997). Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery (2009) won the Historians of British Art Book Prize in 2011. Her latest book, Portrayal and the Search for Identity was published in 2013. She has also published many scholarly articles on the history of jewels (marciapointon.org).
Marlise Rijks studied history of the sciences and the humanities at Utrecht University. She worked as a research assistant at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands in The Hague. She is currently a PhD candidate at Ghent University working on the project ‘Artists’ Collections in Seventeenth-century Antwerp’, in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. The project investigates how the collections of artists and artisans became sources of artisanal, artistic, and scientific knowledge and innovation. She has published on Antwerp’s culture of collecting and gallery pictures, Delft artists and artisans with an interest in optics, and learned correspondence in the Dutch Republic.
Kim Siebenhüner holds a professorship of the Swiss National Science Foundation at the Department of History at the University of Bern. Her research interests include the social and cultural history of early modern Europe, the history of early modern India and the Indian Ocean, and the history of consumption and material culture. Her forthcoming book Die Spur der Diamanten (2015) deals with the social, cultural, and economic history of early modern jewels. She is now working on the project ‘Textiles and material culture in transition: Consumption, cultural innovation and global interaction in the early modern period.’
Lisa Skogh is currently a Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London based in the Research Department where she is working on her postdoctoral project ‘The Kunstkammer and the Early Modern Consort: Knowledge, Networks and Influences.’ She is also organising a symposium on cultural diplomacy and the arts, ‘A Collector of Secrets: Sir Balthazar Gerbier (1592-1663)’, to be held at the V&A in June 2015. Together with Bill Sherman and Simon Schaffer, she is organising a new Salon, called ‘What was Europe?’, to be held in the new Europe Galleries 1600-1800 at the V&A. Concurrently she is editing an anthology for Ashgate and one special issue for Nuncius on ‘The Varied Role of the Amateur in the Early Modern Period’. She is also a member of the Ivory Study Group and has lectured and published widely on Kunstkammer.
Tim Stanley is a Senior Curator at the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He specialises in Middle Eastern objects and has a particular interest in the Turkish world, Qurans and unillustrated manuscripts, lacquer, arms and armour, and furniture and woodwork.
Susan Stronge is a Senior Curator in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum. She specialises in the arts of the Mughal court, notably the art of the book and decorative arts, but has also written about the 18th century court of Tipu Sultan, and the arts of the Sikh kingdoms in the 19th century.
Tijl Vanneste works mainly on global history in the early modern period. He is interested in international commerce, migration, Brazil and the Mediterranean. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne. He has previously held posts at the University of Exeter, UK, Université Paris-VII Diderot, France, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, Oxford Brookes University, Utrecht University, and Yale University. He has published a monograph on early modern diamond trade, Global Trade and Commercial Networks: Eighteenth-Century Diamond Merchants (2011), and is working on a book on the history of diamonds.