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The Beginning and the End of the World

Event Details

The Beginning and the End of the World

Time: November 1, 2011 to December 10, 2011
Location: The Gateway Galleries
City/Town: North Haugh, St Andrews
Website or Map:…
Event Type: exhibition
Organized By: University of St Andrews
Latest Activity: Nov 1, 2011

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Event Description

In the early 1840s St Andrews became the first town in the world to be documented thoroughly through the new medium of photography.

At the same time Robert Chambers wrote in St Andrews one of the most scandalous books of the Victorian age,Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844).  Vestiges presented a comprehensive account of the history of the Earth, from the formation of the Solar System through the development of plant and animal life, up to the origins of humankind. It suggested that scientific laws, rather than the intervention of God, could explain the development and progression of life.

This exciting exhibition is based on a new book of the same title by Robert Crawford. It considers how Chambers’ work, and early photographs of ruined buildings and eroding geological features in and around St Andrews, forced people to consider the vastness of geological time and contemplate ‘the Beginning and End of the World’.

Showcasing images from the earliest days of photography and 19th century scientific apparatus, the exhibition also links Victorian concerns about the ‘Beginning and End of the World’ to modern scientific developments and ecological issues, and features poetry attuned to time and erosion.

Co-curated by Professor Robert Crawford, School of English.

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