Mining the Lloyd

"Nature seems to place at man's disposal nothing perfected to his use;
work is required from man before he can apply to his own advantage nature's agents.
John Uri Lloyd, 1874



A book is an artifact, laden with cultural and historical values and information. It offers us an experience, a peek into an unknown world or a journey into another time. Mining the Lloyd brings together book artists who have a strong interest in the scientific, natural and cosmic world with the Lloyd Library's eclectic, scientific collection. Each artist dug through the collection and found a book that spoke to them and created new, intriguing works based on the theme and structure of the Lloyd texts.

The Lloyd texts and the artists' books that comprise this exhibit are displayed side by side. This pairing allows the viewer an opportunity to understand, to question and to delight in the cultural, historical and scientific processes that bring us to this moment and offers a view into the elements that inform an artist's work. In Mining the Lloyd there are books that address the marvelous beauty of a simple flower, books that puzzle over the social norms of yesterday and today, books that pose questions about space and scientific conclusions, books that delineate the power of healing and the intrigue of backyard observations, books that emerge into a sculptural format and challenge our notions of reading and referential books that bring attention to the binding, materials and structure. All of the books bring to life an idea or question that the artist found fascinating and through this intersection of the artist engaging science a margin is created for our own interpretations and understandings.

A seam between worlds.

Diane Stemper, Co-curator

Science Meets Art

This exhibition takes its inspiration from the Lloyd Library and Museum, a gift given in 1886 for the preservation of vital knowledge for humanity by the three Lloyd brothers, John, Nelson and Curtis. John, the eldest, was one of the most important pharmacists of his day. He delved into the new movement of using botanical remedies instead of bloodletting and harsh chemicals. He was president of the American Pharmaceutical Association in 1887. He received three Ebert Awards for published research and in 1920 was the recipient of American pharmacy's highest honor, the Remington Medal. Lloyd published more than 5,000 scientific papers and books relating to pharmacy and natural medicines. He wrote a novel, Etidorhpa, or the End of Earth, of which royalties provided some of the funding for the Library. Nelson carried out the administrative duties of the business while Curtis, whose first love was botany and mycology, especially taxonomy, started a herbarium which is now housed at the University of Cincinnati and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Curtis had the role of the Library's chief Acquisitions officer, traveling the world acquiring a book collection boasting many original editions in medical botany, pharmacy, eclectic medicine, and horticulture.

Science and art have been united in many endeavors throughout time, including Leonardo's architectural drawings and the drawings of his inventions, Einstein's ability to put a visual image and a name to an unknown quantity, and the botanical illustrators who recorded the natural world for generations to come. Artists and scientists are forward thinkers who are concerned with what the future will be and could be. Creativity, observation, discovery, and interpretation are skills used in both disciplines. Exhibiting these scientific texts alongside their artistic progeny is a way to see the similarities in both science and art.

Susan Brumm, Co-curator

Enter the Exhibit

This online exhibit is an outgrowth of a physical exhibit held at the Lloyd Library from December 1, 2003, through February 28, 2004
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