Sunday, November 23, 2008

Charles Darwin on Display

Next year the world will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species and the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth with several blockbuster exhibitions and events. Here are a few; you can find a comprehensive list (more than 100 so far) at Darwin Online. If you attend any, please feel free to provide a short review in the comments.

I've added a special set of Darwin links in the right-hand sidebar that includes selected events and online resources.

While you're thinking about Darwin, why not donate to the HMS Beagle Project, which will launch a sailing replica of the ship next year? Crewed by scientists and sailors, it will retrace the 1831-36 voyage of the original Beagle.

In the UK

Now through 31 January at University College London: "Charles Darwin of Gower Street" ~~ Darwin lived in a house on the site now occupied by UCL's Darwin Building from 1839-1842, just over two years after his return from H.M.S. Beagle's second voyage. The exhibition illustrates Darwin's life, work, and the influence of his ideas about inheritance and evolution on his contemporaries and successors. UCL's long association with the development of genetics stems from this period, and several items come from the personal libraries and papers of Sir Francis Galton, Darwin's cousin, and Karl Pearson, first Galton Professor of Eugenics. An online exhibition is available here.

Now through 19 April at the Natural History Museum, London: "Darwin" ~~ This "biggest-ever" exhibition about Charles Darwin celebrates his ideas and their impact. Discover the man and the revolutionary theory that changed our understanding of the world. See incredible, revealing, and rare exhibits, some on display for the first time. There's a cool slideshow here and an interactive map of the Beagle voyage here.

Summer 2009 at Christ's Church College, Cambridge: "Darwin at Christ's" ~~ Darwin attended Christ's College from 1828 to 1831. This exhibition, which will be held in Darwin’s former rooms in the College, will feature rare letters, paintings, and the university diary of William Darwin Fox, a second cousin of Darwin and the person who introduced him to beetle collecting.

In the US

Starts 12 February at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut (and then moves to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University, on 16 June): "Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science, and the Visual Arts" ~~ Science meets art in this groundbreaking exhibition exploring Darwin’s interest in the visual arts and the vast range of artistic responses to his ideas in the later 19th century. "Endless Forms" considers how Darwin’s ideas penetrated the consciousness of the great artists of the era, inspiring visual representations of the struggle for existence, of natural attraction and sexual selection, and the origin and descent of man. This will be explored through paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, taxidermy, and fossils, many of which will be on public display for the first time. Among the artists featured will be Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Turner, Church, Landseer, Tissot, and Rossetti.


Karen James said...

Thanks Kristan!

GreggM said...

Stanford University has an excellent series of lectures, Darwin's Legacy, that highlight how profound his ideas continue to be. They are available as a free podcast from iTune's.

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