After 6 months of hard work, the ambitious exhibition about the influence of Isaac Newton in the Netherlands has finally come to fruition. The Opening was the most crowded on record, which befits a local “blockbuster”. After speeches and toasts by Nobel Laureate Gerard ‘t Hooft (physics 1999) and a bit of interpretive dance (particles were attracted, and then repelled), we cut the ribbon on a colorful and engaging new show.
For this exhibition Todd used the theme and mood of church architecture to highlight the quasi-religious reverence in which Isaac Newton was held in the 18th century. We placed first edition copy of Newton’s Principia in an ebony and gold reliquary chest that spontaneously opened and closed, and we created a series of stained glass windows representing the most important of Newton’s theories, like a kind ofVia Cruxis. This gave us the chance to use light and colored glass in other aspects of the exhibition to illustrate the life of Newton and his 3 greatest Continental disciples, Boerhaave, ‘s Gravesande, and van Musschenbroek. Each of these “apostles” received a dedicated triptich in an altar setting.