An A to Z exploration of the Enlightenment’s quest for understanding and change, as revealed in the era’s prints and drawings
Are volcanoes punishment from God? What do a fly and a mulberry have in common? What utopias await in unexplored corners of the earth and beyond? During the Enlightenment, questions like these were brought to life through an astonishing array of prints and drawings, helping shape public opinion and stir political change. Dare to Know overturns common assumptions about the age, using the era’s proliferation of works on paper to tell a more nuanced story. Echoing the structure and sweep of Diderot’s Encyclopédie, the book contains 26 thematic essays, organized A to Z, providing an unprecedented perspective on more than 50 artists, including Henry Fuseli, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Francisco Goya, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, William Hogarth, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, and Giambattista Tiepolo. With a multidisciplinary approach, the book probes developments in the natural sciences, technology, economics, and more—all through the lens of the graphic arts.
Distributed for the Harvard Art Museums
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA (September 16, 2022–January 15, 2023)
Edouard Kopp is the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Chief Curator at the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston. Elizabeth M. Rudy is the Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints at the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA. Kristel Smentek is associate professor of art history in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.