The knowledge of things

06. May 2015 - 10. January 2016

A special exhibition on the occasion of the University of Vienna’s 650th anniversary.

This exhibition examines teaching and research in the field of natural sciences from 1755 until the modern day, focusing in particular on objects from Vienna University’s teaching and research collections. The exhibition is divided into an historical and a thematic section.

The thematic section displays instruments, tools, appliances and specimens from the last 250 years and examines what they were used for. Which scientific discoveries did they make possible? What kind of images and data did they generate? These images are juxtaposed with images produced using modern-day instruments, adding an historical dimension to today’s research.
The historical section places the thematic section in an historical context by using a timeline running along the walls. As well as texts and images, contemporary objects from the teaching collections are displayed to underline the teaching aspect of natural sciences. Visitors can observe how a range of demonstration aids (models, casts, specimens, books, blackboards, photographs, films, 3D animations, simulations, etc.) have changed and developed over the centuries.
The aesthetic glass models of marine invertebrates by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka dating back to 1880 form the centerpiece of the exhibition. These models have been given pride of place, representing as they do not only items of science and teaching but also highly attractive works of art in their own right.


Blütenmodelle von Robert Brendel, Breslau um 1870

Holz, Papiermaché, Draht, Ölfarbe Lack

(©) NHM Wien, Alice Schumacher