Natural Interactions in the Book as Art and Making Knowledge

Thursday, September 15, 2022 - 12:00am to Monday, September 16, 2024 - 12:00am

Dive into the richly illustrated world of rare natural history books and art from the Medical Historical Library’s collection! This online exhibition showcases how elite early modern collectors, interested laymen, artists, and naturalists shaped the book as an active work of art and a site of knowledge production about nature via various reading and learning practices.

Illustrations of richly colored flowers, book collections of pasted dried plants, translations of wobbly annotations, and videos of unfolding plates like the oversized microscopic flea in Robert Hooke’s Micrographia (1665) demonstrate some of ways in which users interacted with natural history texts. Engage with these collections yourself through a few coloring pages based on some of the lovely images in the exhibition.

Curated by Renata Nagy, PhD candidate, History of Art and Renaissance Studies and GSAS Professional Experience (GPE) fellow

Image: Illustration and text about the Stramonium (jimsonweed) plant in Fuchs’ De Historia Stirpium (History of Plants), 1542