17th-Century Dutch Art; The Body; Anatomy; Print and Visual Culture; Drawings; History of Collecting.
B.A. University of Victoria, Victoria BC
M.A. Queen’s University, Kingston ON
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
Erin Travers’s research addresses the body, social and cultural boundaries, and the communicative and epistemic functions of images and objects in the early modern period. Investigating the contents of art treatises, anatomical atlases and collections in the Dutch Republic, her dissertation analyzed the intellectual and pictorial exchanges that occurred between artists and physicians. It argued that medical practitioners and artists used representational materials to mediate understandings of their respective authority and professional identities, but that this varied in response to their particular interests and concerns, serving to construct and reinforce distinct identities for these fields. As an affiliated Research Fellow with the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UCSB, she is now revising this research for her book project Artist-Anatomist: Making the Body in the Seventeenth-Century Netherlands. Works on paper are central to this research and she is currently developing an exhibition as a guest curator for the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens that will examine artists’ technical and material training through figure studies and drawing books (2020). Her research has received support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, Borchard Foundation, UC Humanities Research Institute, and the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada.