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New Exhibit on Triangles, Squares, and Circles

December 5, 2015
The Pythagorean theorem as illustrated in Oliver Byrne's celebrated edition of Euclid's elements of geometry (London: William Pickering, 1847). From the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Pythagorean theorem as illustrated in Oliver Byrne’s celebrated edition of Euclid’s elements of geometry (London: William Pickering, 1847). From the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Please visit Special Collections for our latest exhibit, “Shapes in Books: Triangles, Circles, Squares.” It features, not surprisingly, rare books on geometry, but also evocations of the occult (as in the fiery triangle-square-circle engraving from Khunrath’s alchemical masterwork of 1595), typographic renderings of Pascal’s triangle, practical and artistic uses of graph paper, and an illustration of an early motorcycle — all to get the wheels in your brain turning on the subject of shape.

Pop-up illustration of an early motorcycle, from Les transformateurs d'énergie: Générateurs, accumulateurs, moteurs, avec les plus récentes applications à la navigation aérienne (Paris: A. Quillet, 1910). Department of Special Collections.
Pop-up illustration of an early motorcycle, from Les transformateurs d’énergie: Générateurs, accumulateurs, moteurs, avec les plus récentes applications à la navigation aérienne (Paris: A. Quillet, 1910). Department of Special Collections.