In 1700s England, the home was a place where genteel men and women studied and conversed about natural history; only later did science move exclusively to the laboratory, where it became a predominantly male profession. This temporary exhibition presents Mia’s British rooms as places for the pursuit of science. Women often engaged with scientific discoveries and cultivated observational skills through embroidery and drawing—common pursuits for women of leisure. The c. 1730 Queen Anne Room will feature works on paper and textiles made by women. The adjoining c. 1740 Georgian Drawing Room will be arranged for a “scientific party” where curious men and women socialized amidst telescopes, microscopes, an electrostatic generator—an experimental instrument that generated an electric charge—and, of course, tea.
This project is part of Living Rooms, an initiative to present Mia’s historic interiors and decorative arts collections in new ways.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website