An Exhibition for Gerard Mercator’s 500th Anniversary

Mercator’s working life was an integration of learning and skill. He was a cartographer, cosmographer, astronomer, engraver, printer and instrument-maker. An exhibition of 16th-century astronomy to mark the anniversary of his birth should be a presentation of astronomical craft. Astronomical objects – books, globes and instruments – were made by craftsmen in some of the finest workshops and print-shops of the time. The work of leading astronomers involved the management of printing presses and the manufacture of instruments.

Thanks to the generosity of lenders and the strength of the Museum’s own collection, the exhibition contains an extraordinary assembly of important crafted objects of 16th-century astronomy.

The latest issue in the Museum’s series Broadsheet presents a fuller version of the story.  For visitors to the Museum paper copies may be bought at the reception desk.

Next: Claudius Ptolemy: Astronomy and Cosmography