Lecture: Was Leonardo da Vinci’s World Map the First to Name America?

Was Leonardo da Vinci’s World Map the First to Name America?

by: Christopher W. Tyler, Ph.D., D.Sc.  –  Saturday Sept 28 @ 3:00 PM

Christopher Tyler’s scientific interests are in visual perception and visual neuroscience. With regards to Leonardo da Vinci, Tyler’s interests extend from his youthful activities as an extempore singer and artist’s model in Florence to his architectural and anamorphic influences in the Court of Renaissance France.

image+%281%29.jpgIn addition to his better known artistic, scientific and engineering talents, Leonardo da Vinci has an extensive reputation as a cartographer, drawing maps for a wide range of hydro-engineering projects for the rulers of Florence, Milan, Arezzo and the Vatican, amongst others. However, he is not generally acknowledged as authoring a world map (or mappamundi) spanning the globe, which was the domain of a few specialized cartographers of the era. Nevertheless, there is a world map among his papers in the Royal Library, Windsor, which has the correct overall configuration of the continents, including an ocean at the north pole and a continent at the south pole. Moreover, it has a unique cartographic projection onto eight spherical-geometry triangles that provide close to isometric projection throughout the globe.

This quincentennial anniversary year of his death in 1519 is an appropriate moment for a reappraisal of this contribution to global cartography. Although the authenticity of this world map has been questioned, there is an obscure page of his notebooks in the Codex Atlanticus containing a sketch of this precise form of global projection, tying him securely to its genesis. Moreover, the same notebook page contains sketches of eight other global projections known at that time (early C16th), from the Roman Ptolemaic conic section projection to Rosselli’s (1508) oval planispheric projection. This paper reassesses the dating of Da Vinci’s unique mappamundi to suggest that it predates that of Waldseemüller (1507), and may thus have been the first map in history to name both America and Florida.

EVENT: Einstein’s Wife by David C. Cassidy

Einstein’s Wife by David C. Cassidy
Wednesday, May 29th 7:30PM
Playroom Theater, 151 West 46th Street, 8th Floor

Mileva Marić confronts the challenges of disability and discrimination, love and fate, and her marriage to Albert Einstein. Based on actual events.
Time: Fall 1893.
Place: Zagreb, Croatia, Austro-Hungarian Empire

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CONFERENCE: Race and Biomedicine Beyond the Lab: 21st Century Mobilizations

26th-27th SEPTEMBER 2019, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON

PROPOSALS DUE 1 JULY 2019
Submit abstracts via Google Forms

This two-day interdisciplinary conference will be an important step toward building an international research network that focuses on the ways that race and biomedicine are mobilized beyond the lab in the 21st century. We seek to foreground how non-scientists are at the forefront of novel, plural, generative deployments of biomedical ideas of race that either entrench or resist historical ideas about race and its relation to biology across domains of environments, markets, and human rights.

Biomedical ideas of race have conventionally operated in two oppositional ways: notions of race as genetic or biological truth; and, conversely, accounts of health and health disparities as products of racism rather than caused by race itself. Debates about these opposing logics have never been completely cordoned off into domains of biomedical experts, but they are increasingly moving beyond the lab, and being deployed in diverse ways. Nonscientists are at the forefront of a range of deployments. On the one hand, biomedical ideas of race are being used by broader stakeholders to maintain historically entrenched ideas about race (e.g. pathologization of racialized groups to justify political repression and social service marginalization). On the other hand, biomedical ideas of race are also strategically mobilized in alternative directions, to stake claims and resist race-based injustice (e.g. identifying bodies in mass graves as racially indigenous in order to ground genocide claims in international courts).

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EXHIBITION: Mana BSMT Presents: N. M. Brandreth’s Phantasmagoria’s Seeing Shadows

Apr. 26–Jun. 7, 2019
MORE INFORMATION

Have you ever glimpsed a movement out of the corner of your eye and turned to find nothing there? Have you ever bolted up the basement steps convinced that something was down there with you? Seeing Shadows attempts to visualize these sensations as photographic objects. Derived from Brandreth’s love for horror and the macabre, and from the histories of photography and film, these unique handmade works are at once seductive and utterly uncanny.

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PANEL AND EXHIBITION: Watercolor Rediscovered: Whistler in the Nineteenth Century

Watercolor Rediscovered: Whistler in the Nineteenth Century
Exhibition: May 18, 2019–October 6, 2019
Freer Gallery of Art, galleries 10 and 11

James McNeill Whistler reinvented himself as an artist in the 1880s and painted his way into posterity with the help of watercolor. Beginning in 1881, he created a profusion of small, marketable works over the next fifteen years. “I have done delightful things,” he confided, “and have a wonderful game to play.” For Whistler, the word “game” referred to the watercolors themselves and to his plans for selling them.

Museum founder Charles Lang Freer amassed the world’s largest collection of Whistler’s watercolors, with more than fifty seascapes, nocturnes, interior views, and street scenes. His vast collection also included prints, drawings, pastels, and oil paintings by the artist. Due to Freer’s will, these works have never left the museum, and the fragile watercolors have rarely been displayed. Recent research conducted by museum curators, scientists, and conservators now shines new light on Whistler’s materials, techniques, and artistic genius, as seen in this first major exhibition of his watercolors at the Freer Gallery since the 1930s.

In conjunction with the opening of Whistler in Watercolor, explore the development of watercolor in the Victorian era and James McNeill Whistler’s contributions to the genre at an event on Sunday, May 19, 2019, 2pm.
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SYMPOSIUM: Collecting the “Uncollectible”: Earth and Site-Specific Sculpture

Presented by the Center for the History of Collecting, Frick Art Reference Library, The Frick Collection, NY
Thursday, May 23, 2019, 2 – 7 p.m.

More information: https://www.frick.org/research/center/symposia
Program PDF

This half-day symposium focuses on collecting site-specific, large-scale, and light-based works by artists including, among others, Walter de Maria, Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson, Michelle Stuart, and James Turrell. A panel of scholars, curators, collectors, an artist, and a conservator explores related challenges of installation, maintenance, preservation, and ultimate stewardship. Virginia Dwan, Suzaan Boettger, Jarl Mohn, Jessica Morgan, Leonard Riggio, and Michelle Stuart are among the participants. Sponsorship from the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation and Northern Trust has made this event possible.

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EXHIBITION: Anti-Confucian Propaganda in Mao’s China

Anti-Confucian Propaganda in Mao’s China is a compelling exhibition installed in Geisel West, 2nd Floor near Special Collections & Archives on the University of California, San Diego campus. Collected by Matthew Wills, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, the materials in the exhibition reflect a 1970s campaign to reinforce the power of political elites and affirm the absolute correctness of Maoist socialism. Some of these materials are no longer available in China.

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SYMPOSIUM: Changing By Degrees: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Climate Change

A symposium organized by Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs, Friday, May 3, 2019, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Rather than an academic conference with speakers presenting formal papers, this symposium will provide a framework for understanding climate issues and engaging in a conversation with a range of climate leaders, including:

  • Dr. Kirk Johnson, director of the National Museum of Natural History (morning keynote)
  • Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland (closing keynote)
    Angela Fritz, meteorologist, and deputy editor at the Washington Post (panel facilitator and discussion leader)
  • Martin Dahinden, Swiss ambassador to the United States
    Kate Brown, executive director, Global Island Partnership
  • Dr. John Cook, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University
  • Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, senior climate scientist and director of climate science, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Thomas Peterson, director of the Center for Climate Strategies, Johns Hopkins University

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Conference: DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections

August 19-20, 2019
Overland Park, Kansas (Kansas City Metro Area)

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE: Are you ready to take on a digital preservation project or program, but have been unsure of how to begin? Or have you already begun an initiative and you want to confirm that you are on the right track? The Digital Directions conference delivers a comprehensive introduction to digitization and digital preservation during two days of in-person, focused instruction. Learn the fundamentals and return home ARMED WITH KNOWLEDGE.

Now in its 12th year, Digital Directions provides instruction on good practices and practical strategies for the creation, curation, and use of digital collections. Meet colleagues from institutions large and small who share similar challenges, and interact one-on-one with the faculty of national experts.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? The Digital Directions conference is geared toward professionals working with digital collections at archives, libraries, museums, historical organizations, government agencies, corporate archives, and other organizations that steward digital collections. Students are also welcome, and a discounted registration rate is available.

REGISTER NOW and SAVE with the Early-bird Discount!

COMPLETE DETAILS and Registration Information: www.nedcc.org/dd19

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WORKSHOP: Scientific Polyphony: How Scientific Narratives Configure Many ‘Voices’

Workshop organised by Dr Kim M. Hajek and Prof. Mary S. Morgan
3 June 2019, London School of Economics and Political Science
www.narrative-science.org

In the history of science, especially of the human and observational sciences, it has often been the case that knowledge-making activities drew upon many ‘voices’—accounts of a storm given by different observers; patient voices incorporated into a psychological case history; myths transcribed by an anthropologist. What many of these examples share is that the information provided by different voices takes narrative form in its own right. Yet scientists have also organised them into related groupings or broader narratives, as a way to elucidate particular research problems.

This workshop asks how narrative has helped scientists to configure extended chunks of information, and ultimately to manage a multiplicity of voices in their enquiry. Using case studies from across a range of fields, workshop participants explore the roles played by narrative forms of explanation both within and across the contributions of multiple voices to science. Of particular concern are the ways that narrative serves to order polyphonic material into a larger epistemic scheme, and reciprocally, how narrative valorises or suppresses particular voices, or indeed shapes what counts as a ‘voice’ at all.

For more information on the project, please see: www.narrative-science.org

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