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Bringing history into the classroom

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has acquired a number of his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant maps, engrav­ings, wood­cuts and botan­ical water­colors cour­tesy of Graham Arader, a lauded his­tor­ical art dealer and founder of Arader Gal­leries.

The Arader Gal­leries Col­lec­tion is on dis­play at Snell Library, and the pieces have been incor­po­rated into a new course, “Pic­turing the World,” intro­duced by Georges Van Den Abbeele, founding dean of the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties.

The course, which is co-​​instructed by Eng­lish pro­fessor Beryl Schlossman, offers a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary set of per­spec­tives on the inven­tion of the nat­ural world as an object of sci­en­tific study. Arader’s gift allows stu­dents to ana­lyze the spe­cific tech­no­log­ical break­throughs that enabled early modern printing and how these tech­nolo­gies inter­faced with the travel expe­ri­ences nar­rated by the likes of Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama, Christo­pher Columbus, Michel de Mon­taigne, René de Laudon­nière, Jacques LeMoyne de Mour­gues, Sir Walter Raleigh, Carl Lin­naeus, Jean-​​Jacques Rousseau, Johann Wolf­gang von Goethe and Charles Darwin, among others.

“Dean Van Den Abbeele and Pro­fessor Schlossman have cre­ated an inno­v­a­tive cur­riculum that delves deeply into the his­toric rela­tion­ships between early explo­ration and trade, and the beauty and sci­ence of nature, tech­nology and art,” Arader said. “Arader Gal­leries and I are thrilled to pro­vide North­eastern Uni­ver­sity with these impor­tant works so stu­dents can see first­hand their beauty and under­stand their his­toric impor­tance. “

“The Arader Gal­leries Col­lec­tion has enhanced our course in a tremen­dous way,” said Dean Van Den Abbeele. “By giving stu­dents access to these works, we have quite lit­er­ally brought his­tory into the class­room. The pieces we’ve acquired from the nation’s leading expert on his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant maps under­score Mr. Arader’s sup­port of cul­tural insti­tu­tions and his com­mit­ment to making these bits of his­tory avail­able to a greater audi­ence.”

The Arader Gal­leries, located in New York, San Fran­cisco, Houston, Philadel­phia and King of Prussia, Pa., have spe­cial­ized in six­teenth through nine­teenth cen­tury nat­ural his­tory works, maps, books, atlases and paint­ings since 1974.

The col­lec­tion is avail­able for public viewing and is dis­played on the second floor of Snell Library.

– by Greg St. Martin

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