Opens November 22


Fall 2019-Spring 2020 Exhibition

Cosmos: From Sand Dollars to Stars

Young children are curious about everything; they are constantly asking why. This exhibit celebrates people whose wonder was life-long and whose scientific discoveries extended human understanding, from sand dollars to the stars.

We start with Isaac Newton and a spectrum of his works, centering on Principia Mathematica, which is considered the founding document of modern science and the point of origin for our understanding of the physical world.

We continue with works by scientists who followed Newton, such as Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, and Nathaniel Bowditch, the Salem-born mathematical genius. Bowditch, protégé of and later benefactor to the Salem Athenaeum, was inspired by the very books displayed in this exhibit.

In the 21st century, these books of science still spark wonder and the spirit of discovery.




The Cosmos opening event will be on November 22 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

As part of this opening event, Dr. Hale Bradt will present a brief lecture at 7:15 p.m. on Isaac Newton’s works displayed in the exhibit.

The exhibition is free and open to the public during regular Salem Athenaeum hours.  Tuesday — Friday: 1 PM – 6 PM and Saturday: 10 AM – 2 PM.



Past Exhibitions:

The Grand Tour

The Language of Flowers

Food for Thought

Quinton Oliver Jones (1903-1999)

What Hawthorne Read
from the Collections of the Salem Athenaeum

Elections: Winning the Vote

Celia’s Salon: America’s First Artists’ and Writers‘ Colony

Samuel Hall: Patriot Printer of the Revolution

Early Birds: Portraits by the Fathers of American Ornithology



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