Multiple suppliers in permeable spaces

Ethnographic collecting at the end of the nineteenth century

  • Manuela Fischer Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz


The focus of this paper is on collectors of naturalia who also gathered “ethnographic” objects alongside their main interest that lay in botany, zoology, mineralogy etc., providing collections to zoological gardens and museums of natural history. Carl Hagenbeck, Johann Umlauff and Otto Staudinger are only the most prominent names from the turn of century. They were the principals for many collecting projects. The permeability of scientific spaces
in the nineteenth century is more visible in collections gathered by commercial expeditions with an orientation towards natural sciences than in ethnological and archaeological expeditions. Another aspect of this scholarly permeability was the popularization of science in the second half of the nineteenth century. Ernst Ule was a
typical representative of this movement. The permeability between “scientific” and “commercial” interests and the necessary networks, programmatic in the “human science” in the late nineteenth century, is visible in the close interrelation between disciplines. The fact that the focus of these scholars was not the study of people in the
first place but the collection of botanical or zoological specimens, where the knowledge of indigenous experts was indispensable, shaped not only the collection but also the relationship between the collectors
and the communities involved.

How to Cite
Fischer, M. (2022). Multiple suppliers in permeable spaces: Ethnographic collecting at the end of the nineteenth century. Journal for Art Market Studies, 6(1).