After two smaller meetings in Vienna in 2010,1 and in Bern in 2011,2 the year 2012 offered the opportunity for a greater event. Many German CCS members had expressed their desire to visit the Cook-Forster-Collection in Göttingen3 in its “natural environment”.
We learnt that the Collection would be open to the public only until the end of April, as it would then be packed again for another exhibition elsewhere (frequently-travelling items indeed). Planning our meeting had to take place very quickly. A date was decided on in conjunction with Dr. Gundolf Krüger, curator of the Cook-Forster-Collection.4
So on March 31, a rainy and cool day that reminded us of Yorkshire in October but with a less breath-taking landscape, at 3 pm twelve CCS members and two potential members, plus Dr. Krüger met in a conference room at Göttingen University. Five well prepared and diverse talks were given and enthusiastically received:
“Joseph Banks’ south seas collection in the Ethnographical Museum in Munich”
“Travelling in the Wake of Cook in the South Seas - Cook-Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu / Tanna, Botany Bay / Sydney and Cooktown / Cape Tribulation”
“Omai and the Animals - Thoughts on Animals and their Translational Meaning in the South Seas”
“Georg Forster - From Naturalist, World Traveller with Cook to Writer, Cultural Mediator and Revolutionary”
“Tobias Mayer - Mathematician, Cartographer and Astronomer of the Enlightenment”
This feast for the mind was followed by food for the stomach at the “Potato House”, with time for lively discussions and rambling conversation well into the night.