The exhibition will explore the representation of the world from antiquity to the present day through a collection of important globes.
The first globes were produced in the 4th century BCE by the Greeks, but between the 8th and 15th centuries, Muslim astronomers were at the forefront of astronomic research, and created exquisite globes and astrolabes. 125 celestial globes from the Islamic world remain in existence today, with the oldest dating from the 11th century. This ancient science was passed through Muslim Spain in the 10th century and re-emerged in Europe as scientists began generally to accept the theory of a spherical Earth. Globes became both a tool for explorers to navigate the world and a means to tell stories about their new discoveries through artistic interpretations of the map. While navigational technology has improved beyond imagination, globes have continued to be household objects in various forms to the present day.
It will be curated by Catherin Hofmann, Chief Curator at Bibliothèque Nationale de France and François Nawrocki, Chief Curator at the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève.