Winner, International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) 2012 Book Award
An unusual collaboration among distinguished art historians, historians of science, and their students, this book demonstrates how printmakers of the Northern Renaissance, far from merely illustrating the ideas of others, contributed to scientiﬁc investigations of their time. Hans Holbein, for instance, worked with cosmographers and instrument makers on some of the earliest sundial manuals published; Albrecht Dürer produced the ﬁrst printed maps of the constellations, which astronomers copied for over a century; and Hendrick Goltzius’s depiction of the muscle-bound Hercules served as a study aid for students of anatomy.
Accompanying an exhibition organized by the Harvard Art Museums with objects from repositories across Europe and North America, the book oﬀers brilliant reproductions of woodcuts, engravings, and etchings; maps, globe gores, and globes; multilayered anatomical “ﬂap” prints; and paper scientiﬁc instruments used for observation and measurement. Among the “do-it-yourself” paper instruments were sundials and astrolabes, and the book incorporates a facsimile of globe gores for the reader to cut out and assemble.
Susan Dackerman is Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints at the Harvard Art Museums; Lorraine Daston is Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science; Claudia Swan is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History, Northwestern University; Suzanne Karr Schmidt is Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago; Katharine Park is Samuel Zemurray, Jr. and Doris Zemurray Stone Radcliﬀe Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.
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.