NEH banner [Return to Query]

Coverage for grant RQ-249842-16

Craft Techniques and Knowledge Systems in a 16th-Century Artist's Manuscript: An Open-Access Critical Edition and Translation
Pamela Smith, Columbia University

Grant details:

A 500-year-old Artisanal Manuscript Yields Its Secrets (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Paul Hond
Publication: Columbia University Magazine
Date: 9/16/2019

In the Lab with Naomi Rosenkranz (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Sofia Fortunato
Publication: SciArt Magazine
Date: 6/24/2019

Twenty-First-Century Alchemists (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Sam Kean
Publication: The New Yorker
Date: 9/26/2016

Is Columbia’s Department System Ready to Evolve? (Media Coverage)
Publication: Columbia Spectator, Eye Magazine
Date: 10/23/2019

La science redécouvre les secrets de la Renaissance (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Bernadette Arnaud
Publication: Sciences et Avenir
Date: 4/6/2016

Art + Alchemy (Media Coverage)
Publication: RISD News
Date: 11/11/2016
Abstract: Reports on a collaboration between the Glass Department at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the Making and Knowing Project. The teams attempted to reconstruct pre-modern recipes for ruby glass, a difficult process for making red-colored glass.

Pamela H. Smith on the Significance of Microscopic Records for Renaissance How-To Knowledge (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Stefan Hanß
Date: 7/22/2020
Abstract: The research of Pamela H. Smith, Seth Low Professor of History and Director of the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University, inspires early modern historians all around the globe. She published widely on early modern alchemy, crafts, and materiality, and is the founding director of The Making and Knowing Project. Since 2014, members of the team explore the intersections of early modern crafts and sciences in a late sixteenth-century French manuscript containing around 930 entries on artistic and technical “recipes”; detailed how-to instructions, many of which were tried out, experimented with, and annotated by what you called an “author-practitioner”.

History professor Pamela Smith’s Making and Knowing Project uses craft making to understand 16th-century science (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Beatrice Moyers
Publication: Columbia Spectator
Date: 10/5/2022

From Lived Experience to the Written Word (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Jana Byars
Publication: New Book Network
Date: 12/19/2022

Scientific searches for dragon’s blood and the perfect burrito (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Rick Mullin
Publication: Chemical and Engineering News
Date: 10/24/2016
Abstract: The Making & Knowing Project (C&EN, Aug. 3, 2015, page 35) is as concerned with the art associated with materials as it is with the science, says Pamela H. Smith, a science historian at Columbia who directs the lab. “We are definitely interested in the movements of the late-16th/early-17th century in which university-trained people were very interested in the practices of craftspeople, collecting their recipes, their processes, and materials,” Smith says. “At the same time, there was an ambition on the part of craftspeople to be seen as on the same social and intellectual level as people trained at university.” Smith and her associates are also concerned with the status of craft in a modern world where science and art long ago took separate paths but never left the Garden of Earthly Delights, or the human engagement with natural materials, as Smith describes it.

In an Ancient Workshop, Discovering Modern Ideas (Media Coverage)
Publication: Columbia Magazine
Date: 12/1/2015
Abstract: Walk into the basement of Columbia’s Chandler Hall, and you enter sixteenthcentury Europe: leather-clad artisans are melting tin in an iron crucible, boiling elm roots in red wine, and coating roses, dead insects, and taxidermied lizards with butter and wheat oil. After a few hours of work, they will have created exquisitely detailed pewter replicas of the flora and fauna — gifts suitable for any aristocrat.

Could Doing Things The Old-Fashioned Way Make Us Better Modern Scientists? (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Kate Baggeley
Publication: Popular Science
Date: 3/19/2020
Abstract: Today, we imagine lab experiments as part of a separate realm from fine arts like painting or trades like carpentry. But artisans helped lay the groundwork for the scientific revolution. For the past five years, Pamela Smith, a historian of science at Co-lumbia University in New York, has devoted herself to re-creating their long-forgotten techniques. “So much exploration, experimen-tation, and innovation happens in craft,” she says. “It’s the same as science; it’s the human exploration of the material world.”

Engineering the Future of Cultural Preservation (Media Coverage)
Publication: Columbia Engineering Magazine
Date: 12/13/2019
Abstract: When historian Pamela Smith first set out to produce scholarly work on a previously unknown 16th-century French manuscript, she knew the end result would live in a digital format; she just imagined it would be a fairly conventional one. Then she met computer scientist Steve Feiner, and began to imagine how augmented reality (AR) could turn that idea on its head.

Is Columbia’s Department System Ready to Evolve? (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Allison Stewart
Publication: Columbia Spectator Eye Magazine
Date: 10/23/2019
Abstract: On the second floor of Chandler, a building tucked within Havemeyer, Pamela Smith shows me a bucket of sand from Toulouse, France. She is showing me how her classes make molds for portrait metal the way a 16th-century French manuscript had described it. The sand is coarse, with larger nuggets the color of mud that will be heated with vinegar to be broken down to a finer consistency. The director of the Center for Science and Society and professor in the history department, Smith runs the Making and Knowing Project, which is a part of the center. It’s a project that, studying a single manuscript, performs craft recipes like verdigris pigment “growing,” cuttlefish bone casting, floral preservationism, and taxidermy. As Smith realized when she began studying the metal casting recipes, “I just cannot understand this unless I know how to do it.”

Une collaboration scientifique inédite LE MAKING AND KNOWING PROJECT (Media Coverage)
Publication: Musee des Augustins
Date: 4/13/2020
Abstract: Announcement and summary of the Making and Knowing Project's publication of Secrets of Craft and Nature in Renaissance France, its digital critical edition.