From 21st July – 20th August, the Museum of the Moon was presented at the Thinktank, creating an ethereal sight in the exhibition space of Birmingham’s award winning science museum.
Presented alongside Katie Patterson’s artwork Totality and other astronomical artefacts at the museum, the exhibition had over 24,000 visitors!
Birmingham and the Moon
The Lunar Society of Birmingham was a dinner club and informal learned society of prominent figures in the Midlands Enlightenment, including industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals, who met regularly between 1765 and 1813 in Birmingham, England. At first called the Lunar Circle, “Lunar Society” became the formal name by 1775. The name arose because the society would meet during the full moon, as the extra light made the journey home easier and safer in the absence of street lighting. The members cheerfully referred to themselves as “lunarticks”, a pun on lunatics. Venues included Erasmus Darwin‘s home in Lichfield, Matthew Boulton‘s home, Soho House, Bowbridge House in Derbyshire, and Great Barr Hall.
Despite this uncertainty, fourteen individuals have been identified as having verifiably attended Lunar Society meetings regularly over a long period during its most productive eras: these are Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Thomas Day, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Samuel Galton, Jr., James Keir, Joseph Priestley, William Small, Jonathan Stokes, James Watt, Josiah Wedgwood, John Whitehurst and William Withering.