Monday, August 26, 2013

Under Glass, A Victorian Obsession


Calling all lovers of science! The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is hosting a free event featuring Author John Whitenight on Tuesday, October 8th at 6:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Academy of Natural Sciences on 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Spend an evening at The Academy of Natural Sciences with author John Whitenight as he explores the role that natural history played in the everyday lives of people from the 19th Century. During that era an obsession developed with the natural world which has never been surpassed. Mr. Whitenight will be sharing images and information from his book, Under Glass, A Victorian Obsession, which is a comprehensive study of the incredible array of objects that were created and presented under glass. Included will be botanical arrangements made from wax and sea shells as well as domes and cases filled with beautiful birds of every description. The focus will be on how the Victorians not only embraced natural history but included it in their home décor.


John Whitenight was born over 50 years ago in a small upstate Pennsylvania town. By the time he was five years old he had developed an avid interest in art. This continued into his teenage years when he decided he would explore this talent further and ultimately share it with others by pursuing an Art Education degree. Upon graduation he began his art teaching career in a senior high school where he remained for the next 30 years eventually becoming the chairperson of the department. During this period he also acquired a Masters equivalence in decorative arts-related studies in Philadelphia where he now resides.


Always a collector of Victoriana, one fateful day in 1973 friends gave him a small glass dome containing three canaries. The following decades have been rich with the study of the why and wherefore of these lovely domed items. Currently, the author’s collection contains over 175 domed displays ranging in height from four inches to some over a meter in height.

I'm sending a shout out to all my Steampunk friends; this is a lecture that would interest you. To all my Facebook, Twitter and Google friends, check out the Academy of Natural Sciences' site for the listing of all their family friendly events. Tell them Steampunk Granny sent you.

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