Mara Wade

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Mara R. Wade is Professor of Germanic Languages & Literatures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she also holds a courtesy appointment in Scandinavian. Her research interests include emblems, German and Scandinavian court culture, and gender studies.  She is the editor-in-chief of Emblematica: Essays in Text and Image and was PI for Emblematica Online.  Her books include: Emblem Digitization (2012);  (with Sara C. Smart) The Palatine Wedding of 1613 (2013); and Gender Matters (2014). Her current book in progress is: Early Modern Intellectual Networks: Emblems as Open Sources. She recently published: “The Education of the Princess: Hedwig Eleonora (1636–1715) and Ballet at the Gottorf Court 1649–1655.” In Hedwig Eleonore and the Arts, edited by Kristoffer Neville and Lisa Skogh, 159–78. Farnham: Ashgate, 2016. She is also the author of Triumphus Nuptials Danicus. German Court Culture and Denmark, Wolfenbütteler Arbeiten zur Barockforschung, vol. 27 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1996).

Item of interest: Emblems at Skokloster
Karl Gustav, Pfalzgraf am Rhein, represented the Swedish crown at the Peace Congress at Nürnberg from April 1649 through June of 1650. A cousin of Queen Christina, he succeeded her as Karl X in 1654. Also present in Nürnberg was the Swedish field marshal Carl Gustaf Wrangel who commissioned there thirteen ceremonial halberds for his military guards in his role as governor of Swedish Pomerania. Four of the seven weapons preserved at Skokloster are decorated with political emblems from the Great Hall at Nürnberg, a storied ceremonial space whose allegorical decorations included the painted Triumphal Chariot of the Emperor Maximilian by Albrecht Dürer and Willibald Pirckheimer to the thirty-two emblems created for the window niches by Georg Rem and which Peter Isselburg engraved and published as Emblemata Politica in 1617. Pictured here are the halberds as displayed today at Skokloster.

These weapons embody the material cultural connections between Sweden and the rest of Europe. They serve as a starting point for the interdisciplinary and comparative study of early modern culture and collections at Skokloster: Nils Bielke’s emblematic paintings at Skokloster, Sweden and the Peace celebrations in Nürnberg, Swedish elites as members of the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, and Sten Nilsson Bielke’s copy of the so-called Gesellschaftsbuch and the funeral painting of Duke Wilhelm IV of Sachsen-Weimar, both preserved at Skokloster. These material objects illustrate the rich networks of cultural exchange between Central Europe and Scandinavia during the Swedish Age of Greatness and point the way to the many possibilities for multi-lateral research in European collections.

Short bibliography:
Der ||Fruchtbringenden ||Gesellschaft || Vorhaben/ || Nahmen/ || Gemählde || Und || Wörter. || Nach jedeweders einnahme || ordentlich || In kupffer gestochen/ || mit || Undergesetzten teutschen Reimen. Frankfurt am Main 1630.
Simon McKeown, Emblematic Paintings from Sweden’s Age of Greatness. Nils Bielke and the Neo-Stoic Gallery at Skokloster (Imago Figurata, Vol. 6), Turnhout 2006.
Lena Rangström, “Partisans with Pictures,” in: The Emblem in Scandinavia and the Baltic, ed. Simon McKeown and Mara R. Wade (Glasgow Emblem Studies, Vol. 11), Glasgow 2006, pp.160-177.
Mara R. Wade, “The Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft at Skokloster.” Wolfenbütteler Barock-Nachrichten 38.2 (2012): 149–68.

Contact: mwade@illinois.edu