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Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe
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1/17/2012 to 3/8/2012
When: January 17 – April 8, 2012
Contact: Jennifer Aubin
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The Harvard Art Museums present Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, an exhibition that examines how celebrated Northern Renaissance artists contributed to the scientific discoveries of the 16th century. This exhibition and the accompanying catalogue offer a new perspective on the collaboration between artists and scientists: the project challenges the perception of artists as illustrators in the service of scientists, and examines how their printmaking skills were useful to scientists in their investigations. Artists’ early printed images served as effective research tools, not only functioning as descriptive illustrations, but also operating as active agents in the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Taking into consideration prints, books, maps, and such scientific instruments as sundials, globes, astrolabes, and armillary spheres, this project looks at relationships between their producers and their production, as well as between the objects themselves.

Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe will be on display at the Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum from September 6 to December 10, 2011, and then travel to the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art (at Northwestern University), where it will be on view from January 17 to April 8, 2012. The exhibition is curated by Susan Dackerman, Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints, Division of European and American Art, Harvard Art Museums. Dackerman is also Head of Student Affairs at the Art Museums. For complete information, please view the announcement in the Press section of the Art Museums’ website at:

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