Events, Exhibits, Rare Book Collection, Special Collections

Scientific Illustration in the Age of Galileo Is Topic of Hanes Lecture Sept. 22

Pictures, Books, and Science: From Description to Diagram in the Circle of Galileo
Fourteenth Hanes Lecture on the History of the Book

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011
5 p.m. Reception and exhibit viewing
5:45 p.m. Program
Wilson Special Collections Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 548-1203

The tension between the two kinds of scientific illustration produced in the circle of Galileo and his friends will be the topic of the fourteenth Hanes Lecture at UNC’s Rare Book Collection on Sept. 22.

David Freedberg will speak about “Pictures, Books, and Science: From Description to Diagram in the Circle of Galileo” at 5:45 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of the Wilson Special Collections Library. A 5 p.m. reception and viewing of the exhibition Meaningful Marks: Images and Text and the History of the Book will precede the free public lecture.

Freedberg will discuss the descriptive watercolors and book illustrations that Galileo’s circle commissioned in their search for order in nature. He will also discuss the diagrammatic forms used in scientific treatises from the beginnings of the printing revolution on. Both the telescope and the microscope given by Galileo to his friends resulted in a crisis in visual representation, which Freedberg will explore through a series of landmarks in the history of the book.

Freedberg, a scholar of seventeenth-century Dutch, Flemish, French, and Italian art, is Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art at Columbia University and Director of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America. His books include The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response (1989) and The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, His Friends, and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History (2002). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society.

Dr. Frederic M. Hanes and his siblings created the Hanes Foundation for the Study of the Origin and Development of the Book in 1929 to honor their parents, John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes. The gift enabled the University’s purchase of nearly 400 books printed before 1501, forming the core of the Rare Book Collection, which now numbers more than 160,000 volumes.

The Hanes lecture series, established in 1980, has brought internationally prominent scholars, publishers, and writers to Chapel Hill to speak about the history of the book and bibliography.

The free public exhibit Meaningful Marks: Image and Text and the History of the Book will be on view through Sept. 28.

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