American Philosophical Society Museum

Site hosted and developed by:

Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science

Dialogues with Darwin: An Exhibition of Historical Documents and Contemporary Art

Luminous Darwin

Eve Andrée Laramée’s Luminous Darwin, an art work in four parts, reverberates across more than 150 years, recreating the sense of wonder that Victorians once felt for science.

Three fictional “lost” notebooks—with writing that mimics Darwin’s hand—are paired with apparatuses that look like nineteenth-century magic lanterns but play contemporary videos. Other devices allude to processes in the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms.

Laramée’s work is inspired by both Darwin’s science and a contemporary “steampunk” aesthetic that merges the sleek coolness of high tech with the evocative look of the Victorian industrial age. The art work recalls a time when technology was manifested in beautifully handcrafted instruments, and naturalists like Darwin could single-handedly accumulate their own data and assemble it into meaningful theories.

The images in this gallery represent only details from Laramée’s work at the APS Museum. To experience the artwork in its fullness, please visit our exhibition space.