Crafting Worldviews: Art and Science in Europe, 1500–1800 examines the inseparable relationship among art, science, and European colonialism from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century—an era of voyage, trade, and Europe’s territorial dominance on a global scale. The objects featured in this multidisciplinary exhibition cross the modern-day boundaries of art and science and range from the everyday, such as books, maps, globes, drafting tools, microscopes, playing cards, and sundials, to the more unusual, such as a hand-cranked model of the solar system, an automaton clock, and anatomical figures. Drawn from across the University’s campus and crafted from both locally and globally obtained materials, including brass, ivory, mahogany, and ebony, the works featured are remarkable not just for their exquisite design but also their intricate construction. Together, they illuminate the critical role that art and science have played in shaping Europeans’ understanding of the world and their place within it.
The exhibition is organized by Jessie Park, the Nina and Lee Griggs Assistant Curator of European Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and Paola Bertucci, Associate Professor, History of Science and Medicine Program, Yale University, and Curator of the History of Science and Technology Division, Yale Peabody Museum; in collaboration with Alexi Baker, Collections Manager, History of Science and Technology Division, Yale Peabody Museum; and with the assistance of Manon Gaudet and Kartika Puri, Graduate Curatorial Interns, Department of European Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and Ida Brooks, PC ’24.