Object Lessons

The Visualisation of Nineteenth-Century Life Sciences
By George Loudon, with a text by Robert McCracken Peck and Loudon in conversation with Lynne Cooke

Publisher: Ridinghouse 2015.

ISBN: 978 1 909932 10 4

Dimensions: 30 x 24.5 cm | 11 3/4 x 9 5/8 in

Pages: 256 pp, 264 colour ill
£24.95 | $36

Assembling nearly 200 pieces from the collection of George Loudon, the volume encompasses a vast assortment of objects relating to nineteenth-century life sciences. Originally designed to capture the complex structures of nature, they range from books and illustrations to botanical specimens and anatomical models.


Having lost most of their original pedagogical function over time, the objects are now open for contemporary reappraisal; acquiring new values that can inspire, seduce and even disorientate today’s viewer.


Alongside new photography by Rosamond Purcell, explanatory texts on the objects by Loudon, an essay by Robert McCracken Peck, and a conversation between Loudon and Lynne Cooke together offer insight into the objects’ original context and potential for new perspectives.