Journeys of the Mind
Scientific and intellectual discoveries - attempts to explain the unknown and often unseen - can be considered journeys of the mind. Sometimes scientists' speculations led to actual voyages, but more often they prompted a result or outcome achieved through observation and experimentation.
Works from the 1700s and early 1800s represent the "golden age" of natural history, a period that combined a flood of material from exotic lands, a newly developed system by Carolus Linnaeus for identifying and organizing it, and the peak of copperplate engraving and etching technique. Lavishly illustrated works document the pride in discoveries being made at that time; many zoological and botanical treatises from the period have never been surpassed for beauty and accuracy.
Scientific advances in fields from microscopy to space exploration, and from the earliest alchemy to the decoding of DNA, reflect the explorations of scientists beyond the observable universe.