Science and the Artist's Book
An exhibition by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries and the Washington Project for the Arts
Herald of Science
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De Re Metallica [On metallurgy]
Basel, Switzerland, 1621; first published 1556
Agricola's remarkable book covers the entire field of mining
and metallurgy, showing in more than 250 woodcuts how miners
worked above ground and below. Called the father of mineralogy,
Georgius Agricola acquired a broad familiarity with the tools and
techniques of 16th-century miners through his years as a
physician in mining communities of Bohemia, Germany, and
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Sue Ann Robinson
Uru Pacha: World Beneath the Other
Long Beach, California, 1995
[mixed media, paper, semi-precious stones]
"We live every day taking the Earth's stability for granted.
But the Earth is fluid. It simply moves at a different rate under
us than we do on it," writes Sue Ann Robinson. The artist's
experience of the 1994 California earthquake (6.8 magnitude) has
reinforced her awareness of the subterranean world. Agricola's
woodcuts of underground mining operations inspired Robinson to
devise a book suggesting a tunnel running through the layers of
the Earth. Her title, Uru Pacha, means "world beneath the
other" in the Inca language.