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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Marcus Vitruvius Pollio
De Architectura Libri Dece [Ten books on architecture]
Como, Italy, 1521

    Vitruvius, a Roman engineer of the first century B.C., wrote De Architectura to express his admiration for Greek architecture. Covering a variety of topics ranging from urban planning to the design of temples and government buildings, Vitruvius' treatise inspired the architects and scholars of the Italian Renaissance as they attempted to re-create the magnificence of classical civilization.

Artist's Book

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Laura Davidson
Ten Books of Vitruvius
Boston, Massachusetts, 1994
[museum board, lantern slide, book cloth, ink, transfer prints]

    Laura Davidson relates the form of books to the architecture of buildings. Vitruvius' influential work has given her a fresh appreciation for the balance and proportion of classical models that have shaped modern architecture.

    Funding for this work provided by St. Botolph Club Foundation of Boston.

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