Gallery Talk on March 8 for “Parts and Wholes” Exhibit

February 21st, 2013

On March 8, 2013, at 4:30 p.m., Judith Kaplan, Ph.D., guest co-curator for the exhibit “Parts and Wholes,” will offer a gallery talk in Special Collections (976 Memorial Library). Kaplan will describe the process of selecting books, periodicals, and museum specimens to illustrate part/whole relationships in the sciences and print culture, drawing upon a wide variety of collections around campus. We hope you will be able to join us for this event.

Exhibit case entitled "Representing Dissection" in the exhibit "Parts and Wholes," Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
One of the exhibit cases sure to attract attention pairs a multi-layer lift-the-flap illustration of the anatomical structure of the escargot, enlarged to 28 cm., with a decidedly oversize papier-mâché model of a May beetle, open to show its internal organs. The former, Jules Philippe Lewis Anglas’ L’escargot (anatomie et dissection): Planches coloriées à feuillets découpés et superposés (1916) is a new acquisition in Special Collections made possible by the Reeder Family Fund. 
Here is the snail in two-dimensional form:
Anglas, L'escargot (anatomie et dissection) (1916), in the exhibit "Parts and Wholes," Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
and with various flaps lifted: 
Snail with multiple paper flaps lifted, from Anglas, L'escargot (anatomie et dissection) (1916), in the exhibit "Parts and Wholes," Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The model of the May beetle (Melolontha vulgaris), produced in Paris by L. T. J. Auzoux (1797-1880), hails from the Zoological Museum on campus, and features the artist’s signature under one of the wings. Both halves of its head rest on a maroon book weight some 24 cm. long. We are grateful to Laura A. Halverson Monahan, Curator of Collections for the Museum, for her willingness to lend this and other museum objects for the exhibit. (For more about Auzoux’ anatomical models, see web exhibits by the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, and the Whipple Museum in Oxford, UK.)

Auzoux' model of a May beetle, from the Zoological Museum, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Throughout “Parts and Wholes,” works from Special Collections, Silver Buckle Press, and the Ebling Library Historical Collections, sit alongside materials from the Zoological Museum and the Insect Research Collection, highlighting questions of individuality and individuation, “colonial” organisms and composite forms, print serials and metamorphosing creatures. For more on materials from Silver Buckle Press on display, see an earlier post in this blog.

The exhibit, which runs through March 2013 in Special Collections, was co-curated by Judith Kaplan; Lynn Nyhart, Professor of History of Science; and Robin Rider, Curator of Special Collections, with exhibit installation by Kaplan and Cindy Lundey, M.L.S. Daniel Joe of the library graphics office designed the striking exhibit poster.

The exhibit was installed in conjunction with the workshop, “What is an Individual? Where Philosophy, History, and Biology Coincide,” which has enjoyed generous support from the Anonymous Fund, the Department of the History of Science, the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, and the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.