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Bringing history into the classroom

Photo by Christopher Huang.

Northeastern University has acquired a number of historically significant maps, engravings, woodcuts and botanical watercolors courtesy of Graham Arader, a lauded historical art dealer and founder of Arader Galleries.

The Arader Galleries Collection is on display at Snell Library, and the pieces have been incorporated into a new course, “Picturing the World,” introduced by Georges Van Den Abbeele, founding dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

The course, which is co-instructed by English professor Beryl Schlossman, offers a multidisciplinary set of perspectives on the invention of the natural world as an object of scientific study. Arader’s gift allows students to analyze the specific technological breakthroughs that enabled early modern printing and how these technologies interfaced with the travel experiences narrated by the likes of Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama, Christopher Columbus, Michel de Montaigne, René de Laudonnière, Jacques LeMoyne de Mourgues, Sir Walter Raleigh, Carl Linnaeus, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Charles Darwin, among others. 


“Dean Van Den Abbeele and Professor Schlossman have created an innovative curriculum that delves deeply into the historic relationships between early exploration and trade, and the beauty and science of nature, technology and art,” Arader said. “Arader Galleries and I are thrilled to provide Northeastern University with these important works so students can see firsthand their beauty and understand their historic importance. “

“The Arader Galleries Collection has enhanced our course in a tremendous way,” said Dean Van Den Abbeele. “By giving students access to these works, we have quite literally brought history into the classroom. The pieces we’ve acquired from the nation’s leading expert on historically significant maps underscore Mr. Arader’s support of cultural institutions and his commitment to making these bits of history available to a greater audience.”

The Arader Galleries, located in New York, San Francisco, Houston, Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pa., have specialized in sixteenth through nineteenth century natural history works, maps, books, atlases and paintings since 1974.

The collection is available for public viewing and is displayed on the second floor of Snell Library.