Two Dibner Library Manuscripts Published

The proceedings of the symposium we held to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Dibner Library have now been published. Called The Era of Experiments and the Age of Wonder: Scientific Expansion from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Centuries, it features the keynote address of Richard Holmes, a well-known British biographer. We have also published Engineering Romance in Late 19th Century Literature by Rosalind Williams, Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jules Verne (1828-1905) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) were well-known writers of romance in the late l9th century. They were also fascinated by engineering, both as well-informed observers and as lay engineers. This manuscript describes this convergence of engineering and romance in their lives and times and reflects upon its implications for our own lives and times. To request a published copy of our Dibner manuscripts, call 202.633.1522. Save

The ABC’s of the Corcoran Artist Files: the D’s

    In the series called “The ABCs of the Corcoran Artist Files” the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library will explore artists through the materials from the recent Corcoran Vertical File Collection donation by featuring artists whose surnames begin with that letter. This time we are looking at the artists whose last names that start with D.

Moving Pictures: Renaissance Painter-Engineers

This post was written by Noa Turel, Ph.D./Assistant Professor, Department of Art & Art History, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Dibner Library Fellow, January-March 2016. Applications are currently open for 2017 fellowship opportunities. My three-month winter residency at the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology was tremendously helpful in shaping and grounding my book project Ingenious Secrets: Painting and Research in Fifteenth-Century Courts. Coming in, I had three bibliographies more »

The Wondrous Winter Wonderland that was 16th-Century Sweden

An entry into this magical season can be gained through the Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples) by Olaus Magnus, first published in Rome in 1555. It is a work greatly valued by Smithsonian curators and researchers and other scholars, since the author – a true Renaissance man – wrote down his geographical, anthropological and naturalistic observations of a land unknown to much of Europe of the time. In more »

Hard-edged, Bright Color: Generations of Color

In conjunction with the exhibition “Hard-edged, Bright Color: The Washington Color School” at the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library, the blog will be exploring the group of color artists to accompany the exhibit running until late spring. We’ll be exploring three of the “first generation” Washington Color School artists: Thomas Downing, Howard Mehring, and Paul Reed.

Secretary Skorton Adopts Books!

Last February we welcomed Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton to the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library in the National Museum of Natural History. On behalf of his wife Dr. Robin Davisson and himself, the Secretary was on a mission to select books for conservation as part of the Libraries’ Adopt-a-Book Program. Lilla Vekerdy, head of special collections, and Leslie Overstreet, curator of natural history rare books, displayed special treasures dating back to the more »

Hard-edged, Bright Color: Pure Color

In conjunction with the exhibition “Hard-edged, Bright Color: The Washington Color School” at the American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library, the blog will be exploring the group of color artists to accompany the exhibit running until late spring. We’ll be exploring three of the “first generation” Washington Color School artists: Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Gene Davis. You can read the first post in this series here. The 1950s and 1960s more »

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