Jul 17, 2018

SCIENCE MADE VISIBLE: DRAWINGS, PRINTS, OBJECTS 2 JULY 2018 – 30 NOVEMBER 2018 THE ROYAL SOCIETY, 6-9 CARLTON HOUSE TERRACE LONDON SW1Y 5AG


Historic fossils from Agostino Scilla’s collection within the Sedgwick Museum’s Woodwardian cabinets are currently on display in the Royal Society’s summer exhibition in London. Called ‘Science made Visible: Drawings, Prints, Objects’, the exhibit explores the questions of how and when science become visual; how drawings, diagrams and charts came to be used alongside words and objects; who made them and what made them scientific?

Category: General
Posted by: Sarah

Historic fossils from the Sedgwick Museum are currently on display in the Royal Society’s summer exhibition in London. The specimens have been selected from one of the Museum’s greatest treasures – the Agostino Scilla collection, housed within the Woodwardian cabinets that were the foundation of the Museum in 1728. 
Called ‘Science made Visible: Drawings, Prints, Objects’, the exhibit explores the questions of how and when science become visual; how drawings, diagrams and charts came to be used alongside words and objects; who made them and what made them scientific?
The Sicilian painter Agostino Scilla (1629-1700) was not only a well known and accomplished painter of religious subjects but also a pioneering naturalist. Scilla used his skills as an artist to show that fossils from the sedimentary strata of southern Italy compared closely with living forms from the Mediterranean. But he also showed how the processes of fossilisation could alter their form. His beautifully illustrated book ‘La Vana Speculazione Disingannata Dal Senso’, published in 1670 made a powerful demonstration of the argument that fossils are the remains of once living organisms. The value of Scilla’s work was eventually recognised in Britain when the book was reviewed in the Transactions of the Royal Society (1695-7, volume 19, p. 181, 199) along with copies of some of his illustrations.
Following Scilla’s death in 1700, the London physician and dilettante collector Dr John Woodward (1665-1728) bought Scilla’s fossil collection along with the fossil drawings, which were engraved to illustrate his book. Altogether, they represent a unique historic collection of documents and one of the Sedgwick Museum’s most important treasures. The Scilla collection can now be explored on a digital interactive in the Museum thanks to an innovative digitisation project led by Collections Manager Dan Pemberton aided by the Arts Council England Designation Development Fund.
Douglas Palmer, Sedgwick Museum
The Royal Society ‘Science made Visible’ exhibit is curated by the ‘Making Visible’ research project at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities in the University of Cambridge led by Professor Sachiko Kusukawa.

Photos:
Scilla’s remarkably accurate original graphite drawing of the specimen, which subsequently suffered some damage.
Agostino Scilla’s rock specimen containing fossil dolphin teeth.

Monday to Friday
10:00 to 13:00 & 14:00 to 17:00

Saturday
10:00 to 16:00 

Sunday
Closed


The Sedgwick Bicentenary Meeting

Saturday 22nd September 2018


A one-day conference bringing together international scientists to mark 200 years since Adam Sedgwick was appointed to the Woodwardian Chair of Geology.

Further information >

 





Historic fossils from Agostino Scilla’s collection within the Sedgwick Museum’s Woodwardian cabinets are currently on display in the Royal Society’s summer exhibition in London. Called ‘Science made Visible: Drawings, Prints, Objects’, the exhibit explores the questions of how and when science become visual; how drawings, diagrams and charts came to be used alongside words and objects; who made them and what made them scientific?




All the Museum and Department were very sad to hear of the death of former staff member Rod Long. Rod, Uncle Rod as he was affectionately known, was to many people the face of the Museum. Dave Norman, our long time Director, has kindly written his recollections of a man who, put simply, we all loved him for his friendly, helpful and kind nature.
Liz Harper





Celebrating 200 years since Adam Sedgwick (1775-1873) became the 7th Woodwardian Professor 21st May 1818.


 

Publications

'Tools of the Trade'
Available to purchase in the Sedgwick Museum shop

Tools of the Trade

Agostino Scilla's
'Vain Speculation Undeceived by Sense'
English translation available to download.
Agostino Scilla download

Our Rocks are on the Move!
We are reuniting our important rock collections under one roof! Can you help support the building of our new Sedgwick Museum Collections store? Read more and donate here


Friends of the Sedgwick Museum prizewinners give us their thoughts on their time at the Museum in 2016
Click here to read

Work Experience at the Sedgwick - read about our latest student to visit us for two weeks and experience life in a Museum. 

Studying Earth Sciences at Cambridge University


Did you know?
The University of Cambridge is listed at the top of The Complete University's Guide 2016 for geology.

Discover more about studying Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge in this video featuring Museum Curator of Mineralogy and Petrology Professor Marian Holness and Sir David Attenborough