Antique Works on Paper of Insects as early as 1665

Ended September 4, 2017

On the gallery walls are prize examples of this species-rich class from our antique natural history print collection from as early as 1665. There is a whole world of literature devoted to insects. Three hundred years of describing this class has yielded countless treatises on the subject from every part of the globe—most with fascinating and often beautiful illustrations.

Highlights of the exhibit include a special display of antique microscopes and rare books of great scientific merit: Robert Hooke’s Micrographia with its famous pull-out flea illustration and Jan Swammerdam’s book, Historia Insectorum Generalis, on insect dissection-both from the 1600’s. Swammerdam laid the foundation of modern insect classification and Hooke used the word “cell”, the basic unit of life, for the first time.