91 color plates, 2 tables
6 x 9
Although craftspeople and artists often work with natural materials, the notion that making art can constitute a means of knowing nature is a novel one. This book, with contributions from historians of science, medicine, art, and material culture, shows that the histories of science and art are not simply histories of concepts or styles, but histories of the making and using of objects to understand the world. An examination of material practices makes it clear that the methods of the artisan represent a process of knowledge making that involves extensive experimentation and observation that parallel similar processes in the sciences. Ways of Making and Knowing offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary history of the ways in which human beings have sought out, discovered, and preserved their own knowledge of the world around them; it has only been through material and human interaction with (and manipulation of) nature that we have come to understand it.