Lighting the Way: Leeds and the ‘Magic’ Lantern

  • Date: -

Common Room
School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
Michael Sadler Building
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT

Launch event: Thursday 13 December (tours 2pm & 3pm; reception 5 to 7pm)

The centrepiece of today’s modern lecture is the PowerPoint presentation. But in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the students’ eyes would be fixed instead on images projected from a magic lantern.

With this in mind, a group of student curators from the MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies course present Lighting the Way: Leeds and the ‘Magic’ Lantern, in collaboration with the Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

This display focuses on magic lanterns and how their use has influenced teaching at the University of Leeds from the mid-nineteenth century.

Each object on display illuminates the lanterns’ story at Leeds — from a lantern produced by the famous Newton & Co. optics, to the various lenses and accessories used in lecture halls, and a small sample of the Museum’s collection of around 5,000 slides.

Unlike other museums on campus, the Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine does not have a permanent gallery space. This exhibition has thus enables the MA student curators to bring to light important and interesting items from a relatively unknown collection.

You are invited to explore this significant chapter of the University of Leeds’ educational heritage, one that has been long overlooked.

This display is part of a wider series of exhibitions and projects undertaken by MA students as part of an Interpretations module. Join us at the launch event for all 10 projects on Thursday 13 December: see here for full details.

Image: detail from a lantern slide showing the moon and its phases. Digitised by the Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.