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Ernst Haeckel - Artforms in Nature: Panel 6

A research guide accompanying the Ernst Haeckel illustrations exhibit in the Dartmouth library. Each panel of the exhibit asks the viewers to reflect on different aspects of Haeckel's work.

Panel 6 Influence on Architecture

Ernst Haeckel Panel - 5 Influence in Architecture

Main text (left side):

Given the ornate beauty of Hæckel's images, his influence on the arts is no surprise and is widely recognized. We present here two examples spanning over a hundred years time.

Caption for Binet lanterns drawings: René Binet, “Lanterne électrique from his  Esquisses Décoratives. Paris: Librairie centrale des beaux-arts, 190-?. 

Caption for Binet architecture: René Binet’s Porte Monumentale for the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1900. 

René Binet’s Esquisses Décoratives contains a sequence of architectural designs based on the biological and morphological illustrations found in Hæckel’s Art Forms in Nature. Envisioning tiny shell-like skeletons as monumental architectural structures, Binet [1866–1911] scaled Hæckel’s microscopic biomineral creatures into decorative amoeboid façades, protozoic trellises and Art Nouveau designs sprawling with heliozoic motifs. 

Binet’s study of Hæckel’s lithographs of radiolaria culminated in the design for his Monumental Gate, located on the Place de la Concorde, at the Eastern entrance of the Exposition Universelle (World Faire) held in Paris in 1900.

Citation for main text (left side): Paul Prudence,

Caption for large image: Acanthophracta – Wunderstrahlinge. Illustration shows aquatic animals. Adolf Giltsch. lithographer. Ernst Haeckel, artist.

Main text (right side):

Composer Michael Pisaro-Liu’s recent work, Radiolarians, released in 2022 on New World Records, was directly inspired by Hæckel’s “visual evocation of the differentiating force of geological time, cast in crystalline miniatures. …For Radiolarians, Pisaro-Liu creates what he terms ‘transcriptions’ of individual radiolaria species depicted in Hæckel’s drawings. …Rather than staging an aquatic pictures at an Exhibition, Pisaro-Liu extracts principles of organization from each bundle of illustrations strategies for creating heterogeneous mixtures of the organic and inorganic, extracting areas of bounded form and areas of open-ended variation, and reenacting tensions between linear development and episodes of unpredictable torsions and divergences.” - Joe Panzner, Radiolarians liner notes, Brooklyn, NY: New World Records, 2022

Next to QR code: Find the CD in Jones Media Center (M985.P57 R33 2022) or listen to excerpts online on the New World Records Band camp page: