Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

HPS in 20 Objects Lecture 16: Irene Manton’s Slides

Irene Manton’s Slides: Or, Art and Science, Other Ways of Looking at Nature
Leeds based botanist and microbiologist Irene Manton was fascinated by art and collected a huge variety of both originals and prints, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Hokusai and Braque, and was especially interested in the cross-cultural influences between Western art on one hand, and Japanese and Chinese art on the other. She stated the collection of her works, once displayed in Botany House, “should not be thought of primarily as fine art, but as working tools with which a scientist endeavours to comprehend certain aspects of the world which are not science”. But in what way can art cultivate insight? And, given the difference between artistic and scientific representations of the world, can it truly be said that art teaches us in a similar way to science? Furthermore, both artists and scientists observe the world. Irene Manton was particularly well known for her acute observations of botanical specimens, using the electron microscope. But what is the nature of observation in this case? How does it differ from observation with the naked eye? These are some of the questions Nicola Williams, Alice Murphy and Steven French be looking at in this talk using examples from Manton’s life, work, botany and art.
When: 20 June 2017, 6.30-7.30pm
Where: Rupert Becket Lecture Theatre, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds

Tea and Coffee will be available from 6.15pm outside the lecture theatre. This lecture assumes no prior knowledge, everybody is welcome.

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