Friends of the RAS (only) Lecture: Cosmic Sublime: the art and scie nce of astronomy

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Cosmic Sublime: the art and science of astronomy
Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich & Dr Melanie Vandenbrouck, Curator of Art, Royal Museums Greenwich Astronomy and art have a long relationship going back millennia with ideas and inspiration flowing in both directions. From Galileo's drawings to the work of contemporary artists and amateur astronomers, Public Astronomer Marek Kukula and art historian Melanie Vandenbrouck explore these connections and unravel the surprising ways in which the sublime and the scientific have helped us to understand our place in the cosmos. Marek completed his PhD in Radio Astronomy at the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory then carried out research into black holes and distant galaxies at a variety of astronomy centres including the University of Edinburgh and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, home of the Hubble Space Telescope. As Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich he helps to run the Observatory's exhibitions, planetarium shows and events and is on hand to explain new astronomical discoveries to the public and media. With Melanie Vandenbrouck he curated the exhibition dark frame/deep field, which juxtaposed contemporary artworks with vintage NASA photos. He is also the author of The Intimate Universe and co-author of The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who, both published in 2015. Melanie studied history of art at the Ecole du Louvre and Sorbonne University in Paris before completing a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Prior to joining Royal Museums Greenwich, she worked in the print room at the Courtauld, and in the sculpture department at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In her current role, she is responsible for a vast and varied collection of fine art related to humanity's understanding of the cosmos and the world's oceans. Melanie is particularly interested in the porosity between media and disciplines, and, with Marek Kukula, she has been exploring the collision of art and science within and around the field of astronomy. They are co-curating a major exhibition at Royal Museums Greenwich for 2019. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in the RAS Library for Friends of the RAS.