October 22, 2014

Wonders of Art and Science Combine in Exhibit of FASEB Journal Covers at MBL

An exhibit of artistically compelling, scientifically relevant covers from The FASEB Journal, the official journal of The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, has been mounted at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in honor of the MBL’s 125th anniversary this year.

The exhibit, titled “Cover Stories: Old Archives/New Science” presents 19 cover illustrations by notables ranging from American artists Roy Lichtenstein and Maxfield Parrish to 19th-century biologist Ernst Haeckel and the Renaissance physician/cosmologist Robert Fludd.

The exhibit is curated by Ann Weissmann of New York and Woods Hole, who is the Fine Arts Editor of The FASEB Journal. “Chosen for artistic merit and scientific relevance, these [cover] images become a visual history of science,” Weissmann writes. Each cover relates to the lead research article in an issue of the journal, whose editors include several MBL scientists.

“Cover Stories: Old Archives/New Science” is the tenth in a series of fine-art exhibitions at the MBL curated by Ms. Weissmann. She draws many of her images from the Rare Books Collection of the Marine Biological Laboratory-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (MBLWHOI) Library. Other images come  from several outside sources, including the National Library of Medicine.

Left: NEPENTHACEAE, colored engraving by Ernst Haeckel, 1834-1919: Adolf Giltsch, 1852-1911, lithographer. From “Kunstformen der Natur,” Leipzig, 1904: Plate 62. Image courtesy of MBLWHOI Library. Haeckel, the famous German biologist, was an early fan of the MBL. In 1893 he wrote to MBL Founding Director Charles O. Whitman: “The erection on the North American coast of a large national marine laboratory as a common center for zoological and botanical, morphological and physiological investigations on marine organisms, has excited my keenest interest.”; Right: PUFFER FISH, copperplate engraving by Albertus Seba, 1665-1736. “Cabinet of Natural Curiosities: Thesaurus,” Amsterdam, 1734-65: Volume II: Plate 23. Image courtesy of MBLWHOI Library.

Left: NEPENTHACEAE, colored engraving by Ernst Haeckel, 1834-1919: Adolf Giltsch, 1852-1911, lithographer. From “Kunstformen der Natur,” Leipzig, 1904: Plate 62. Image courtesy of MBLWHOI Library. Haeckel, the famous German biologist, was an early fan of the MBL. In 1893 he wrote to MBL Founding Director Charles O. Whitman: “The erection on the North American coast of a large national marine laboratory as a common center for zoological and botanical, morphological and physiological investigations on marine organisms, has excited my keenest interest.”; Right: PUFFER FISH, copperplate engraving by Albertus Seba, 1665-1736. “Cabinet of Natural Curiosities: Thesaurus,” Amsterdam, 1734-65: Volume II: Plate 23. Image courtesy of MBLWHOI Library.

Weissmann’s prior exhibits at MBL have featured images from Ernst Haeckel’s celebrated book, Art Forms in Nature; the unique collection of scientific wall charts by Rudolf Leuckart; and engravings from the voyages of Captain Cook.

“Cover Stories” will be on display at the MBL through May 2014. The exhibit is free and open to the public by appointment or by chance. It hangs in the MBL’s Swope Conference Center, 5 North Street, Woods Hole. To make a viewing appointment or for more information, call 508-289-7423. This exhibit was made possible through the support of Sandy and David Bakalar.

The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in 1888 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the MBL is an independent, nonprofit corporation.

The FASEB Journal is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). It is among the most cited biology journals worldwide according to the Institute for Scientific Information and has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century.