History of Urology Forum
Presentation Authors: Michael Moran*, Whiteville, NC
Introduction: At the close of the 16th century wealthy merchants, bankers and nobles began to organize their extensive collections of wonders and began to seek professional help. Samuel Quiccheberg is now a little remembered Belgian physician who published the first treatise on museum organization.
Methods: A review of the literature of all aspects of Quiccheberg's life and writings was performed, including reading his famed Incriptiones: vel, tituli theatric amplissimi
Results: Born in Antwerp to a merchant family, Samuel Quiccheberg attended Latin school in Ghent before moving to Nuremberg. At age 18 he went to Basel to attend university but switched to Freiburg. He befriended Jakob Fugger, son of famed banking mogul Anton Fugger and became his tutor and both attended Ingolstadt in Bavaria. He finished his medical studies by 1555 and was invited to the Fugger household as physician and librarian as well as curating the famed collections of curiosities.
Conclusions: Quiccheberg was introduced to Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria and he attempted to bring some sense to this massive collection of artifacts. On July 3, 1557 Albrecht was warned about his collecting from the Bavarian Court Council- "Furthermore, the council should also caution that His Princely Grace should not imitate the city burghers and merchants in the acquisition of various strange luxuries, as these merchants have unfortunately managed to lead great rulers, electors, and princes to the point that, because of their prodigality and extravagance, they have to finance and support their splendor and luxury." Duke Albrecht had a waiting response, penned by his new curator- "I think that the lifetime of nay man, even the most wealthy and diligent, is sufficient for collecting everything that could be broadly gathered into these classes but because I wanted, with this most complete and universal enumeration, to add these things to the considerations of men just as Cicero did with regard to the complete orator. Thus, on the basis of these classes, they might measure the magnitude of their knowledge of all things, and they might be stimulated to imagine and investigate other matters in turn." Samuel had Adam Berg print his ideas for museology in 1565; a slim octavo volume of sixty-four pages of text organizing all museums into six thematically related sections. He recognized the need for a universal complete museum as well as specific collections, often private that were more thematic- such as Conrad Gesner's studio, Agricola’s extensive mineral and mining items, and Aldrovandi’s more natural collection in Bologna. Quiccheberg’s now rare book could be considered the foundation stone of modern museology.
Source of Funding: None