SciArt Magazine - All Issues - Page 14

REVIEW Natural Histories 400 Years of Scientific Illustration By Raphael Rosen Contributor SciArt has a deep provenance. Some of the best examples aren’t found in fashionable Chelsea galleries or eclectic websites but in manuscripts that are hundreds of years old. And one of the best places to see these is at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, in an exhibition called “Natural Histories: 400 Years of Scientific Illustration from the Museum’s Library.” On view through October 12th, 2014, the show is a pared-down walk-through version of a book with the same title edited by Tom Baione, the Harold Boeschenstein Director of the Department of Library Services at the Museum. The 50 works in the show represent a span of scientific inquiry reaching from 1550 to the 1920s, a period that saw the rise of modern science. It’s no accident that the exhibition begins at science’s birth. “The big message,” says Baione,