The Ecstatic Journey: Athanasius Kircher in Baroque Rome

Ecstatic Journey

Exhibition curated by Ingrid Rowland, Valarie Brocato, and Alice Schreyer.

Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), a German Jesuit priest, was called to Rome as Professor of Mathematics at the Roman College in 1635, two years after Galileo's trial and condemnation by the Roman Inquisition. Charged to reconcile Church doctrine with experimental method and to interpret Egyptian hieroglyphics, over the next 45 years, and in more than 40 books, Kircher addressed every topic of interest in the 17th century. A master communicator who used sound effects, the magic lantern, and practical jokes to spice his live presentations, Kircher built mechanical devices of marvelous ingenuity and delved into the findings of the microscope, the structure of the cosmos, and the mouth of volcanoes. Kircher was also a consummate exploiter of the power of the printed book, as this exhibition illustrates through first and early editions of his works and related materials.

Exhibit Publications & Documents

Online Exhibit Catalog
Catalogue 110p. (perfect bound), Out of print