Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge examines how celebrated Northern Renaissance artists contributed to the scientific investigations of the 16th century. The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue challenge the perception of artists as illustrators in the service of scientists. Artists’ printed images served as both instruments for research and agents in the dissemination of knowledge. The exhibition, displaying prints, books, maps, and such instruments as sundials, globes, astrolabes, and armillary spheres, looks at relationships between their producers and their production, as well as among the objects themselves.
Curated by Susan Dackerman, Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints, Division of European and American Art, Harvard Art Museums. Organized in collaboration with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue are made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mrs. Arthur K. Solomon, Lionel and Vivian Spiro, Walter and Virgilia Klein, Julian and Hope Edison, Novartis on behalf of Dr. Steven E. Hyman, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Barbara and the late Robert Wheaton, the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and an anonymous donor. Additional support is provided by the Harvard Art Museums’ endowment funds: the Alexander S., Robert L., and Bruce A. Beal Exhibition Fund; Anthony and Celeste Meier Exhibitions Fund; Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Exhibition Fund; and Melvin R. Seiden and Janine Luke Fund for Publications and Exhibitions.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Research Tool: Explore digital facsimiles and see how original prints were used in the 16th century: “construct” terrestrial and celestial globes, flip through layers of human anatomy, and learn how to make your own botanical impressions at harvardartmuseums.org/ppk.