Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Art and Design


The late 16th century saw a new movement in the world of science to push scientific ideas and practice out of academia and into the hands of the layman. No longer were scholars the sole proprietors of science –everyday laborers, craftsman, and artists now had practical scientific principles at their fingertips that they could incorporate into their professions. This new spread of science was facilitated in several ways, including the publication of books incorporating detailed, explanatory images, new utilitarian instruments, and public lectures. Though science was disseminated through a variety of means, I have been particularly interested in the ways that this new spread of science was facilitated by visual culture. My research has focused on studying a subset of scientific manuscripts and books held in the USU Library’s Special Collections and Archives from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I have spent many hours with these books analyzing their words and images to gather a sense for how the images complement the words and make the text more understandable. Ultimately, I have cumulated my research into an exhibition that is displaying some of the most notable use of imagery these books have to offer. A combination of physically interacting with and studying the texts along with literature-based research has informed this exhibition. Ultimately, I found that if we want to effectively communicate difficult scientific ideas in our contemporary world, we need to take some notes from the past and incorporate educational and understandable imagery to help educate society on difficult yet crucial scientific theories, instruments, and facts.


You can view the digital exhibit, Visions of Science: An Art Historical Analysis of Medieval Scientific Manuscripts, through this link:



Faculty Mentor

Alexa Sand

Departmental Honors Advisor

Marissa Vigneault