Hands-On History Workshop with Pamela H. Smith

Start Date

Thursday March 2, 2023

End Date

Friday March 3, 2023


5:30 pm - 4:00 pm


The Departments of History and Art History and Art Conservation are sponsoring two events with visiting speaker Pamela H. Smith, Seth Low Professor of History and Director of the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University.

Following The Department of History’s John M. Sherwood Memorial Lecture in History of Science and TechnologyLizards, Metals, Stones, and Sands: Practical Investigations and Vernacular Knowledge Systems in Early Modern Europe, free and open to the public on March 2, 2023 from 5:30-8:00pm, Professor Pamela H. Smith will give a workshop sponsored by the Department of Art History and Art Conservation: Hands-On History: Exploring Secrets of Craft and Nature in your Kitchen.

The session will introduce methodology of historical reconstruction using the hands-on resources developed by the Making and Knowing Project for use with Secrets of Craft and Nature in Renaissance France. A Digital Critical Edition and English Translation of BnF Ms. Fr. 640. Following introductory search and analysis exercises, there will be a hands-on session; participants are encouraged to bring a laptop, clothing they don't mind getting dirty, and "a sense of adventure".

The workshop happens on Friday, March 3 from 1:00-4:00pm in the André Biéler Studio at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Graduate students in History, Art History, and Art Conservation and upper-year undergraduate students in the BFA program may apply to attend the workshop. The application deadline is Feb. 20, 2023.

The Department is grateful to the Agnes for its generous support of this event.

Departments of History and Art History sponsor upcoming events
Creating stucco in the Making and Knowing Lab, Columbia University.

About Pamela H. Smith: 

Pamela H. Smith is Seth Low professor of history at Columbia University, and founding Director of the Center for Science and Society and of its cluster project The Making and Knowing Project (www.makingandknowing.org).  Her articles and books examine craft and practice, and its relationship to scientific knowledge. The Body of the Artisan (2004), and From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Reconstructing Practical Knowledge in the Early Modern World (Chicago 2022) make a case for treating craft/art as a way of knowing. Her edited volumes, Ways of Making and Knowing (ed. with Amy R. W. Meyers and Harold Cook, pbk 2017) and The Matter of Art (ed. with Christy Anderson and Anne Dunlop, pbk 2016), treat materiality, making and meaning. An edited volume, Entangled Itineraries: Materials, Practices, and Knowledges across Eurasia (2019), deals with the movement of materials and knowledge across Eurasia before 1800. In a collaborative research and teaching initiative, The Making and Knowing Project, she and the Making and Knowing Team investigate the intersection of craft making and scientific knowing by text-, object-, and laboratory-based research on the technical and artistic recipes contained in a sixteenth-century French manuscript BnF Ms. Fr. 640. In 2020 they released a digital critical edition and English translation of the manuscript, Secrets of Craft and Nature in Renaissance France.

Banner image caption: Creating molding sand in the Making and Knowing Lab, Columbia University.

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