Ulrike Körber

Quoting name: Ulrike Körber
Professional Category: Conservator-Restorer
Position(s) within IHA: RG Member [Pre-Modern Visual and Material Cultures]
Thematic areas: Decorative Arts, Cultural Transfers, Asian Lacquer, Luso-Asian Art, Early Modern Material Culture
Contact: ulrikekorber@fcsh.unl.pt
ORCiD: 0000-0002-2697-9726



Ulrike Körber combines advanced study in art history with previous training as a journeyman cabinetmaker (1999-2002), and as a conservator of wooden artifacts and furniture (2002-2008). She is interested in the material manifestations of cross-culture relations, the manifold exchanges, and circulations that characterize much of the early modern European encounters with Asian cultures. Artifacts she encountered during a project at the Laboratório José de Figueiredo in Lisbon led her to focus on Luso-Asian lacquered items manufactured for Catholic European commission, which feature the transfer and transformation of motifs, iconography, and techniques. Her Ph.D. thesis, The Journey of Artifacts: The Study and Characterization of a Nucleus of Lacquered Luso-Asian Objects from the 16th and 17th Centuries (University of Evora, 2019), examined a group of parade shields and portable furniture embellished with Asian lacquer that had been produced within the scope of the Portuguese presence in Asia, and that of the Catholic missions. By identifying the craft traditions mingled on individual pieces, it revealed unexpected patterns of circulation. The identification of Chinese lacquer compositions and decorative techniques on works previously identified as Japanese showed evolutions of style, technique, and a confluence with those conventions, revealing a cohesive and distinctive aesthetic approach with respect to religious items serving mainly the Jesuit mission.

(data supplied by the researcher)

RG – Research Group