John Dee: art, science, magic

11 Jul 2016

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00

Cost of entry

£5. Advance booking essential. See website for details.

Royal College of Physicians Museum

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Tube: Great Portland Street

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Evening exploring Tudor polymath extraordinaire John Dee. Talks from the Science Museum and Wellcome Library on fascinating artefacts owned by or representing Dee and the experiments he performed.


Discover the lost world of one of Tudor England’s most imaginative intellects at this special evening of lectures exploring some of the remarkable objects featured in the acclaimed exhibition, ‘Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee’.

William Schupbach of the Wellcome Library and the Science Museum’s Katie Dabin explain what these artefacts owned by or representing John Dee tell us about the man and the ‘experiments’ he performed.

Katie Dabin, curator of clinical & research medicine at the Science Museum focuses on ‘Crystal gazing: Dee’s immortal instruments’. Asking why Dee was so fascinated by his crystal and sharkskin obsidian mirror. Who or what was ‘Dr Dee’ searching for?

William Schupbach, librarian of the iconographic collections at the Wellcome Library looks at ‘The darker side of Dee’  examining the story of Victorian painter Henry Gillard Glindoni, who first represented John Dee performing an experiment before Queen Elizabeth I within a circle of skulls,  only to retouch his image into something apparently more conventional.

An intriguing evening for those fascinated by the mysterious figure of John Dee and how he straddled art, magic and what would become science in his pursuit of knowledge.

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