Dr. Charlotte Colding Smith

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Lehrstuhl Prof. Dr. Birgit Ulrike Münch)




Charlotte Colding Smith completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne supervised by Charles Zika. This  was subsequently revised as Images of Islam, 1453–1600: Turks in Germany and Central Europe (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014). She subsequently worked on projects at the University of Mannheim from 2013-2015, whilst holding fellowships in prints and drawings collections in Germany and America. From 2016 to 2020 she worked at the German Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven, Germany, where she remains as a senior expert fellow and external consultant for the whaling objects and exhibitions relating to shipping and the environment in addition to the 3D scanning of museums material. 

In 2021 she took up an appointment as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Bonn, working directly as an assistant to Prof. Birgit Münch. Her research project focusses on the place of the whale as an unknown monster and enlightenment relic, how this was depicted, reported and collected together with the networks of collectors and scholars fascinated by the whale. Her further research and teaching interests relate to the fields of: prints and drawings, book history, object history, collections history, art and the environment, enlightenment science in artworks and the connections between Europe and the wider world from the mid fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. 

Charlotte Colding Smith has held fellowships at the British Museum, London; Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig; the Herzog August Bibliothek, the University of Vienna and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Avatar Smith

Dr. Charlotte Colding Smith

Raum 5.004

Kunsthistorisches Institut der Universität Bonn, Rabinstraße 8

53111 Bonn


  • Early Modern Age
  • Europe
  • Material Culture
  • Prints and Drawings
  • History of the Book
  • Colonialism/ Postcolonialism
  • Environmental History


  • (2020-) Research Associate and Lecturer: Art Historical Institute, Universität Bonn and assistant to Prof. Dr. Birgit Ulrike Münch and Postdoctoral Fellow with the project: Assembling (by) the Sea: Presenting the Whale from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century
  • 2021-2023 Senior Expert Fellow Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum, Leibniz-Institut für deutsche Schifffahrtsgeschichte
  • 2017-2020 Research Fellow: Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum, Leibniz-Institut für deutsche Schifffahrtsgeschichte, (Maternity Leave, 2018-2019). 
  • 2016-2017 International Fellow (Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Deutschland): Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum, assistance with seminars at the universities of Bremen, Oldenburg and Kassel.
  • 2009-2011 Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. Melbourne, Australia. Special Collections/ University of Melbourne Archives/ Prints and Drawings/ Percy Grainger Museum. Conservation Assistance, Collections and Database Management and Reading Room Desk Attendance, Exhibitions Assistance, Teaching Assistance
  • 2013-2015 Researcher, Project: Desbillons: Geschichte des Spätmittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, Universität Mannheim
  • 2006-2008 Research Assistant, Department of History, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, for Professor Charles Zika and Associate Professor Catherine Kovesi
  • 2004-2005 Conservation Technician at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne and Melbourne University Archives, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2005-2010 PhD History, The University of Melbourne, Australia, Dissertation: Apocalyptic Battles and Exotic Courts: Printed Images of the Turk from Sixteenth-Century German Territories.
  • 2000-2004 University of Melbourne, Australia, B.A. (Hons): History, Art History.
  • 2003 Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, Germany, Exchange Student, Alumna.
  • Languages: English, Danish, German, French (Reading Level).

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 2021.
  • Renaissance Society of America Grant, 2021.
  • Cambridge-Leibniz Museum & Collection Fellowship at the Scott Polar Research Institute Museum, December 2019.
  • Renaissance Society of America Grant, 2016.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Research Project ‘Kupferstichkabinett Online’, Herzog Anton Ulrich- Museum Braunschweig Land Niedersachsen (with the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel), 2014.
  • ANZANEMS (Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies) Travel Bursary, 2012.
  • DAAD (German Government Academic Exchange Service Postdoctoral Fellowship), Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel and the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin, 2012.
  • Ernst Mach Fellowship, OEAD, University of Vienna, 2011-2012.
  • British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, London, England. Harold Wright & Sarah and William Holmes Scholarship, 2009.
  • DAAD (German Government Academic Exchange Service Scholarship), Herzog August
  • Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 2007- 2008.
  • Herzog August Bibliothek, Summer School Scholarship, July 2007.
  • Gunther Findel Stiftung, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 2006- 2007.
  • Melbourne Research Scholarship, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 2006-2009.
  • Caroline Kay History Scholarship, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 2006.


  • CA18129 - Islamic Legacy: Narratives East, West, South, North of the Mediterranean (1350-1750) (ISLE), COST ACTION, European Cooperation in Sciences and Technology. 2022-2023.
  • Harold Wright Scholarship Display (in conjunction with the University of Melbourne), British Museum, London, England, 2019.
  • Kulturerbejahr: Zahn der Gezeiten, Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum, 8 Objekte – 8 Museen – Gemeinsame Ausstellung der acht Leibniz-Forschungsmuseen, 15 August-15 Dezember 2018.
  • Walter Rau und Walfang in der 1930er Jahren, Kabinett Ausstellung, Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum, 3 August-6 November 2017.
  • „Ein frey und offen Landt?“ – Doppelausstellung zur dänisch-oldenburgischen Personalunion von 1667 bis 1773, Universität Oldenburg, 28 Juli-28 August 2017.
  • Le siècle de Louis XIV- Sonne und Schatten eines Jahrhundertherrschers, Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim, 28 October-10 December 2015.


  • Charlotte Colding Smith, Images of Islam, 1453–1600: Turks in Germany and Central Europe (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014; re-issued as paperback by Routledge, 2015).
  • Kümper, Hiram, Julia Breittruck and Charltote Colding Smith:  Le siècle de Louis XIV- Sonne und Schatten eines Jahrhundererrschers with and (Universität Mannheim, 2015).
  • Charlotte Colding Smith and Ana Cabrera Lafuente, ‘From Granada to the Ottoman Empire: The Legacy of the Granada and Ottoman Dress Images on European Court Culture and Display’ in Islamic Legacy in Europe: Narratives East, West, South, North of the Mediterranean (1350-1750), edited by Antonio Urquízar-Herrera, Borja Franco and Elena Paulino (essays submitted for review, to be published in 2024).
  • Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘From the Deep to the Curiosity Cabinet: Transport and Display of the Whale in the Early Modern Period,’ (in preparation for the conference proceedings of Wissens-Dinge II: Blind Passengers and Valuable Artefacts - Transport and Spread of Organisms in and with Ships), eds. Ruth Schilling and Sven Bergmann in NTM, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin (Basel: Birkhauser, forthcoming 2024).
  • Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘Der Wal in privaten und öffentlichen Sammlungen in der Frühneuzeit’ (chapter in preparation for the conference proceedings of: Das Meer in der Kammer. Maritime Themen und Materialien in Kunstkammern der Frühen Neuzeit Schwabenakademie edited by Robert Bauernfeind and Andreas Tacke, 2023). Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2023.
  • Carla Nadermann and Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘Meer und Meeresfrüchte,’ in Augenlust? Niederländische Stillleben im Detail, eds. Alexandra Käss; Birgit Ulrike Münch; Thorsten Valk (Bonn: LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn, 2022), pp. 36-47.
  • Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘Shifting Identies Over Time: Images of the Turk in Sixteenth Century Biblical Illustrations’ in Imagined, Embodied and Actual Turks in the Early Modern Era, eds. Bent Holm and Mikael Bøgh Rasmussen (Vienna: Hollitzer Wissenschaftsverlag, 2021), pp. 257-290. Chapter based on Conference Paper produced in conjunction with the Nordic Network for Renaissance Studies, University of Copenhagen. 12 October, 2012.
  • Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘The Ottoman Court in Sixteenth-Century Northern European Printed Images’ in Horizon lines: Marking 50 years of Print Scholarship, ed. Kerrianne Stone (London and Melbourne: British Museum and the University of Melbourne, 2019), pp. 67-69.
  • Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘Turcica’ in North and Middle European Libraries and Kunstkammers,' in Rethinking Early Modern Europe in a Global Perspective edited by Susan Richter, Sebastian Meurer und Michael Roth (Heidelberg: University of Heidelberg Press, 2017), pp. 159-182.
  • Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘Letters and Learning: Desbillons’ Correspondence from Mannheim at the University of Mannheim,’ in 50 Jahre UB Mannheim Entwicklung und Perspektiven, eds. Christian Hänger and Annette Klein (Mannheim: Mannheim University Press, 2017), pp. 15-29.
  • Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘The Ottoman Turk on the Margins of Sixteenth Century Europe in Histories and Chronologies,’ in A World Enchanted: Magic and the Margins, Essays in Honour of Charles Zika, eds. Julie Davies and Michael Pickering (Melbourne: The University of Melbourne Press, 2015), pp. 69-114.
  • Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘Depicted with Extraordinary Skill: Ottoman Dress in Sixteenth-Century German Printed Costume Books’, Textile History, 44, 1, 2013, pp. 25-50.
  • Charlotte Colding Smith, ‘Transcription with commentary of an indenture dated 1686 between John Saunderson and John and Rachel Taylor.’ Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 79, 2007, pp. 377-386.
  • Charlotte Colding Smith: Review: John Roger Paas. The German Political Broadsheet, 1600-1700. Volumes 10 and 11 (Wolfenbüttel Barock-Nachrichten, 2016).
  • Charlotte C. Smith: Review: Chris R. Kyle and Jason Peacy (eds.) Breaking News: Renaissance Journalism and the Birth of the Newspaper.  H-German (March, 2010). available: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=29523
  • Charlotte C. Smith, Review: Thomas Kaufmann, Türckenbüchlein": Zur christlichen Wahrnehmung "türkischer Religion" in Spätmittelalter und Reformation. H-German (July, 2009). available: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=24356
  • Charlotte C. Smith, Review: Margaret Meserve, Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought. Melbourne Historical Journal, 2008.


  • Radio Bremen-Dokumentation ‚‘Walfang unterm Hakenkreuz‘ Montag 6 April 2020 im Ersten.available at: https://www.daserste.de/information/reportage-dokumentation/geschichte-im-ersten/videos/walfang-unterm-hakenkreuz-video-100.html
  • Stefan Kruecken, ‘Jäger und Gejägte’ in Rau IX: Walfänger mit bewegter Geschichte (Bremerhaven: Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum, 2018), pp. 20-25.
  • RAU IX - Erforschung & Erhalt eines historischen Walfängers. Investigate & preserve a historical whaler (Leibniz Kulturerbejahr Youtube Video, 2018).

    Tagungen & Vorträge

Organised Panels and Workshops:

  • (Co-Organizer with Dr Jens Ruppenthal)- Deutsches Schiffahrts Museum/ German Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven, 5.09.2016-6.09.2016.
  • Der „kleine Klimagipfel“: eine Roadmap für die Kommunikation von Klima- und Meereswandel im Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseum
  • Co-Organizer: Knowledge Transfer; Diplomacy; Collections History; Travel Literature; Trade; Book Illustration, for the American Friends of the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Renaissance Society of America, Boston, 31 March 2016.

Chair of Session:

  • Universsität Bonn, Internationale Tagung: Identitätskonstruktion im Porträt, VII: Print Culture and Identity Construction, 1st of April 2023.
  • Universität Mainz Online Workshop, Exploring the Ecologies of Early modern Art, 25tho of November, 2022- 17.00 | EXPLORING EARTH & SEA‘
  • Urban Spaces: New and Interdisciplinary Approaches,’ Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, New Orleans, 17 October 2014.

Recent and Forthcoming Presentations:

  • Giants’ Teeth, Dwarf Embroidery, and Saints’ Ribs: Collectable ‘Otherness’ in Churches and Wunderkammern between 1500 and 1800, Gender and Otherness in the Humanities (GOTH) Symposium, 18-20. May, 2023, the School of Arts and Humanities at the Open University, Milton Keynes.
  • Assembling (by) the Sea: Repräsentationen der Walobjekte in gegenzeitlicher und historischer Perspektive, Tag der Wissenschaft, Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum, Bremerhaven. Online, 17 Feb 2023.
  • 20 December 2022- Charlotte Colding Smith and Ana Cabrera Lafuente, ‘From Granada to the Ottoman Empire: The Legacy of the Granada and Ottoman Dress Images on European Court Culture and Display’, Online 20 December 2022, In person in Madrid 21 February, 2023.
  • 'The Whale and the Time to Wonder: The Reception of Whale and Narwhal Objects in Public and Private Collections', ANAMEMS (Australian and New Zealand Medieval and Early Modern Society) Online, 28 June, 2022.
  • ‘The Knowledge of Whales, the Art of the Whaler, from the Sea into the Museum and Children’s Lexicon’ at Natur als Objekt in Kunst, Wissenschaft und Bildung des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts –Transdisziplinäre und interfakultative Forscher*innengruppe an der Universität Wien.. Held over Zoom on the 17th of Novmeber 2021. 
  • ‘Der Wal in privaten und öffentlichen Sammlungen in der Frühneuzeit’ at Das Meer in der Kammer. Maritime Themen und Materialien in Kunstkammern der Frühen Neuzeit Schwabenakademie Irsee im Kloster Irsee, Germany. 11th of November, 2021.
  • Kunstkammer Object, Trade Symbol or Old Testament Relic:  Presenting the Whale in German Lands from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century, Wollfenbüttel Colloquium, 28 June 2021.
  • ‘The Ottoman Empire in Early Modern Costume and Display from Manuscripts in Wolfenbüttel and Braunschweig’, Renaissance Society of America Conference, (Virtual), 13-15 April, 20-22 April 2021.
  • ‘Monster, Reliquien und Macht: Druckgraphische und Objekt Darstellungen von Walen von dem 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert‘, Kolloquium, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Erlangen, 22 July, 2020 (via Zoom).
  • ‘Säbel, Sultane, Seraglio: Osmanische Figuren in Trachtenbüchern, Alba Amicorum und anderen Werken‘. Hochschule für Bildene Kunste, Braunschweig, 9 June, 2020 (via Blue Button).
  • ‘Authenticating and Presenting Scrimshaw and Whale Ivories in the Modern Museum’, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Making it Real. Historical Authenticity in Museums and Collections in the UK, Germany, and Europe, Whipple Museum of the History of Science, University of Cambridge, 5 December 2019.
  • ‘Monstrous Omens to Symbols of Crisis: The Whale as an Emblem of Emotion from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century’. ARC Center for the History of Emotions. The University of Melbourne, Australia. 26 September 2019.

 Betreute Abschlussarbeiten


  • BA: ‘New Quest Available: Painted Walls’ An Analysis of Architectural Elements in the Façades of the Videogame The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Universität Bonn, 2022.

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