Reading Nature, Observing Science: Examining Material Practices in the Lick Observatory Archives and Kenneth S. Norris Papers

Illustrating the Cosmos

Our research in the Lick Observatory archives has uncovered correspondence and sketches from Étienne Trouvelot, a French artist and astronomer known for his whimsical illustrations of celestial objects. Trouvelot worked with the Lick Observatory's first director, Edward S. Holden, at the U.S. Naval Observatory while Holden was a professor of astronomy there. It seems they continued to communicate throughout Holden's tenure at the Lick. We wonder how illustrations by Trouvelot and other artists ultimately impacted the way astronomers in the early years of the Lick perceived the cosmos, as well as how astronomical illustrations shaped the photographic images they produced.

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