How do art and travel benefit natural history?
Maria Merian (1647-1717), skilled in both art and natural history, studied the relationships between flowers and insects. She conducted field expeditions around the world, carried out research in gardens and museums, and produced detailed sketches and beautiful paintings, and even bred insects to aid in her entomological investigations.
What were women doing in the museum?
Levinus Vincent, a wealthy Dutch merchant with ties to the East Indies, created a spectacular 'Chamber of Wonders' natural history museum in Haarlem. Visiting dignitaries admired his museum, including Peter the Great and King Charles III of Spain. The detailed depictions of interior spaces include figures of women engaged in a variety of activities. Museums such as Vincent's offered women opportunities for participation in the natural sciences as donors, collectors, discoverers, visitors, patrons, lecturers and curators. This OER explores the significance of women in these early museums.
This exhibit samples a variety of works which represent the comprehensive scope of subject areas and modes of inquiry in the Scientific Revolution and at OU today. They illustrate the motto of Tycho Brahe: “Looking up, I look down.” By this phrase, Tycho referred to the interconnectedness of inquiries, as he himself sought to coordinate the study of astronomy with chemistry and medicine.