Renaissance Globe Exhibition: MHS Exhibit
Schools, families and other visitors took part in events at the History of Science Museum at which they were able to explore the collection and record their responses on the globe. Key events in the history of science have also been added to the globe, and the strength of the Museum’s collection in astronomy is reflected in the mapping of astrolabes and a global network of observatories past and present.
Inspired by the audacious 1519 voyage of Magellan, the first to circumnavigate the globe, visitors had the opportunity to discover and handle navigational instruments, play the Mariner’s Trail board game, and were challenged to search for objects in the Museum spanning as many continents as possible. Each individual’s selection of drawings and descriptions was pinned to the globe and linked together by a coloured thread resulting in a high density pile-up in Europe!
Families contributed to the ongoing decoration of the globe by creating beautiful compass roses, fantastical sea monsters or calligraphic place labels, the latter referencing the italic style pioneered by Gerard Mercator in the 16th century. In a subsequent event, children also added drawings of ships inspired by illustrated maps of the period.
Which would you want to be – an astronomer, a doctor, or an explorer? Children selected their character and then hunted for three objects or instruments that would have helped them in their profession. They made drawings of each object and linked them together with written statements about their origin or use. These ‘object strings’ were added to the globe to create a sea of interwoven objects and ideas.
Visitors contributed to decorating the globe's horizon ring with a calendar scale made up of the signs of the Zodiac in the style of a globe from the Renaissance period.
In this activity, visitors were invited to reflect upon their associations with globes and record their thoughts on a coloured luggage tag.
Globe coordinators: Christopher Parkin and Scott Billings
Volunteers: Arabella Campbell, Alison Cooper, Rita Demietriou and Emi Harako