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The History of Visualization through the Rubenstein Library's Special Collections

Intermezzo Poster
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Fiene Leunissen, Research Scholar, Duke Art, Law & Markets Initiative (AAHVS)

In 1821, William Playfair critiqued Adam Smith's conclusions in The Wealth of Nations. He argued that, despite Smith's genius, his conclusions would have been much different had he used data visualizations. "Theories and Practices of Data Visualization" is a VMS/ISS course in which students study data visualizations through history in order to understand how present-day methods have developed over time. Of primary concern is how visualization technologies and techniques made data increasingly accessible to larger audiences, and became instrumental in broadcasting information, and, even in some cases, saving lives. In visiting the collections of Duke's Rubenstein Library, students examine and interact with historical visualizations in their original context. The purpose of this talk will be to discuss the highlights of Duke's collections and the consequences of studying the history of data visualization on the development of visualization practices moving forward.

Intermezzo is the annual works in progress series of the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University.

Free and open to the public.

Contact: David Massung