Is It Any Good?

Archimedes nearly lost documents at the Huntington Library and Gardens.

He is the rock of modern mathematics, also manufacturing and who knows how many other Sciences and disciplines.

Actually, Wikipedia has a good notion as to how many:

Among his advances in physics are the foundations of hydrostatics, statics and an explanation of the principle of the lever. He is credited with designing innovative machines, including siege engines and the screw pump that bears his name. Modern experiments have tested claims that Archimedes designed machines capable of lifting attacking ships out of the water and setting ships on fire using an array of mirrors.

Archimedes is generally considered to be the greatest mathematician of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time.

And now his work is on display at the Huntington Library and Gardens and the exhibit Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes.


I think I may have mentioned in this space that my father is a Mathematician.

Okay, maybe more than a few times.

You mention Archimedes, and you’re talking about the foundational documents of all mathematics. Of course, he’d be interested in a exhibit like this. And since he’s interested, I figured I’d at least give it a look.

Turns out, Dad would be disappointed.

It’s not that there isn’t a lot of Archimedes on display. His documents and the methods used to restore those documents are on display everywhere.

And I mean…everywhere.

Yeah, that’s the thing. Not so much with the mathematics at this exhibit. It being the Huntington Libfrary and Gardens (emphasis: Library), the exhibit is mostly about how the documents were saved from historical extinction.  It turns out that someone took one of the last copies in existence of Archimedes text, and…well…painted a Bible over them.  So there’s a lot of stuff about how the text was saved.

The science at the heart of the documents? Well…not so much.

I’m sure a painstaking, detailed, and mammoth restoration job makes for good Exhibitions. And it is interesting, but for me…we had an opportunity not just to tell us who Archimedes is, but to hsow us who he. That being said, they didn’t totlalyl ignore the science. It’s…in one room…

Over there…somewhere…

Toward the back.

So, in short, a perfect exhibit…for document preservationist geeks…and I know you’re out there!

Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes runs until June 22, 2014


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Nothing too out of the ordinary, it’s in the Science Hall toward the far side of the grounds.

Here’s the thing, you’re going to have to check your backpack before you go in there. There are some lockers off to the right as you walk in where you can do that. Otherwise you have to carry the Backpack in your hand, or strapped to you front, wherein your likely to feel pregnant. It’s a silly rule, and because it’s so silly, something equally silly must’ve happened to make it necessary. I’m betting someone backed into something.


PARKING: The Huntington, as always, has its own lot, which is free. I have yet to go when its not crowded. At the same, I have yet to go and not find a space.


The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108

Tel: 626.405.2100

Monday holidays: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays.

The Huntington is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, The Huntington observes summer hours and is open from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays. (After Labor Day, hours are 12 noon-4:30 p.m. Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri.; 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat., Sun.; closed Tues.)