Upcoming Library Exhibit Explores the Renaissance Traditions in Wizard Magic
"Harry Potter’s World" is an exhibit developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. It explores the world of Renaissance science, magic and medicine, fields that influenced author J.K. Rowling as she created the “curriculum” at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The exhibit will have six panels: potions, herbology, monsters, magical creatures, fantastic beasts, and immortality.
A Family Fun Event will be held on July 11 from 2 pm to 4 pm, and there will be activities associated with each category of the exhibit: making face masks, painting “philosopher’s stones”, planting herbs, and making Lego monsters. There will also be a visit from some Harry Potter-esque creatures such as owls, a rat, a snake, a spider and a slug. Library staff will be dressed as Hogwarts faculty (graduation robes) and students (khakis, white shirts and ties).
The exhibit not only looks at the medical and scientific practices of the Renaissance era, but also explores the ethical questions that affected not only the wizards of Harry Potter, but also the historical thinkers of the 15th and 16th centuries.
(Pictured above: Illustration of distillation equipment Ambroise Paré, Les Oeuures d'Ambroise Paré, 1585. “There was a lot more to magic, as Harry quickly found out, than waving your wand and saying a few funny words.” Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J. K. Rowling.)