Opening last month (July), this exhibit on Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910 at the American History Museum
(12th and Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC) explores the intersecting influences of science, innovation, industry, and the Victorian creative imagination through books from the Smithsonian Libraries and selected historical objects.
The industrial revolution and its attendant advances in science and art paved the way for a period of dramatic change in America and Europe. The public was enthralled by the rapid invention and scientific discoveries that characterized the age. Science became spectacle, and such literary luminaries as Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, and Edgar Allan Poe responded, crafting fiction that explored the farthest reaches of the new scientific landscape and the startling possibilities this new knowledge uncovered.
For those of you who cannot partake of this in person here in Washington, DC, they have a fascinating online exhibit broken into 7 separate areas:
- Terra Incognita – Adventure and Exploration: To the Far Reaches of the World
- The Age of Aeronaut – The Dawn of Flight
- Infinite Worlds – Exploring the Universe and Seeking Extraterrestrial Life
- The Body Electric – Inspiring Frankenstein
- Rise of the Machines – Technology Comes to Life
- Sea Change – Underwater Worlds: Fathoming the Deep
- Underworld – Fossils and Geology: What Lies Beneath?
Also, their blog has a great collection of posts relevant to “Fantastic Worlds,” history, science, technology, fiction, and adventure.