« Wednesday March 13, 2013 »
Start: 7:30 pm
Wednesday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.
Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime
Elizabeth A. Kessler examines the Hubble's deep space images,
highlighting the remarkable resemblance they bear to nineteenth-century
paintings and photographs of the American West and their invocation of
the visual language of the sublime. Drawing on art history and the
history of science, as well as interviews with astronomers who work on
the Hubble Heritage Project, Kessler traces the ways that the sublime,
with its inherent tension between reason and imagination, not only forms
the appearance of the images, but also operates on other levels.
Strikingly illustrated with full-color images, this book reveals the
scientific, aesthetic, and cultural significance of the Hubble pictures.
"Picturing the Cosmos has helped me better understand what
it is that fascinates me about the astronomical universe. Even though
I've always loved to look directly at the night sky or at the wonders it
holds with telescopes of many sizes and powers, reading here that
'astronomy is about the pleasure of looking' has revitalized this old
habit and given it weight." --David H. DeVorkin, Senior Curator, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum
Elizabeth Kessler teaches art history at Stanford.