The ancient Inca had no known written language, but they may have used an intricate language of knots.
A Walk Through the World of Lorraine O’Grady
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — When visiting an art exhibit, there’s a temptation to start at the entryway and work your way through it following the path established by the curator.
A Brooklyn Art Collective Builds Boats in Boston
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Before you even enter the building, there are boats.
A 19th-Century Glass Menagerie of Sea Creatures Gets a Retrospective
Melting glass over a flame, the 19th-century Czech father-and-son team of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka replicated in fragile detail specimens of the natural world.
Our View from the Cosmic Shore: Early Modern Interpretations of Celestial Events
When Milton was writing Paradise Lost in the 17th century, a comet grazed through the sky, inspiring the English poet to describe how Satan “stood Unterrified, and like a comet burn’d.”
Where the Library Gets Its Books
Up on a hill in a guarded compound, not far from where Harvard University keeps its primate labs, a 127,000-square-foot structure holds the heart of the institution’s library.
A Pigment Library That Launched American Art Conservation
When the Harvard Art Museums reopen this Sunday after a six-year expansion project, historic pigments foundational to the field of art conservation in the United States will be on public view.
Curious Visual Guides to Victorian Pseudoscience
What if all your woes could be healed by some good thinking? Back in the 19th century, mesmerism was all the rage, merging nicely with the DIY Victorian parlor entertainment and hefty dose of quack medicine making the rounds — from questionable experiments in electricity to phrenology.
Bookbinding the Dead: Harvard Confirms 19th-Century Book Bound in Human Skin
After having deadly disappointment earlier this year when it was revealed two of the three books at Harvard University believed to be bound in human skin were both sheepskin, the third has been confirmed as being hominid-made.
The 19th-Century Story of the Wonderful Tattooed Man
The story of how a boy from Providence, Rhode Island, became “the most wonderful tattooed man ever known in the civilized world” involves menacing sailors and voyages across the sea, and was recently digitized so that we can all read this tale of the 19th century.
Sculpting the Tiniest Flowers in the World to Build the Future of Nanotechnology
How shapes self-assemble in nature is a mystery of science yet to be unraveled, but sculpting a miniature flower garden may shed some light on self-assembly and spur innovation in microscopic engineering.
Coming Soon: A Place for Science and Art to Play Together
It’s possible that scientists and artists may have one side of their brain more dominant than the other, with the broadly opposite characteristics of logic and creativity, but the best innovations in both fields tend to come from using the whole mind. In an attempt to instigate such mental dialogues between science and art, a new exhibition and laboratory space called the Lab Cambridge is opening up in Kendall Square in in Cambridge, Massachusetts, next year.