Science Imagined: An Exhibition of the Book as Art

October 27 - December 29, 1996

Science is commonly thought to differ from art primarily because it uses empirical methods that present "objective" views of reality rather than relying on an individual artist's imagination that creates a "subjective" world. In order to maintain objectivity, scientists are expected to set aside personal feelings and fantasies that might bias their observations and conclusions. Nevertheless, scientists obviously do engage in and enjoy a complex play of though, intuition, and imagination that is integral to their work. In many respects, this subjective dimension of science is similar to artistic activity: Where there is search, observation, and discovery there is always a reach from the well-worn ways of understanding to imaginative and stimulating new perspectives. The exhibition Science Imagined had called forth lively explorations of the book and of science old and new. The results stretch our understanding of both form and content, and in so doing prompt us to consider important links between scientific books and the art of the book more generally. 

*excerpts taken from Robbin Henderson's preface and Susannah Hays' forward in the printed catalogue.