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Grant number like: MP-50052-07

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Science History Institute (Philadelphia, PA 19106-2702)
Marjorie Gapp (Project Director: September 2006 to September 2009)

Museums Planning
Public Programs

$39,663 (approved)
$39,663 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2007 – 5/31/2009

Fortune and Folly: Images of Alchemy in Northern European Art, 1500s-1700s

Planning of a traveling exhibition exploring alchemy as a precursor of early science and as a shaper of early modern European attitudes about humankind's ability to understand and control the natural world.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation requests a $39,663 planning grant for an interdisciplinary and multimedia museum exhibition entitled Fortune and Folly: Images of Alchemy in Northern European Art, 1500s to1700s. The exhibition will explore the relationships among art, culture, and science in early modern life, while encouraging viewers to make connections with humanities issues of our own time. Using paintings, manuscripts, and artifacts, supplemented by video, music, texts and lectures, we will teach audiences how alchemy?widely and erroneously regarded today as an occult, spiritual, or futile endeavor?was a pervasive and significant force in early modern culture, and one whose ambiguous status mirrors present-day ethical concerns about modern scientific developments. The exhibit is scheduled for three venues in 2009-10: the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts (Stanford), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Planning will begin 6/07.