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“Dare to Know: Prints and Drawings in the Age of Enlightenment”

Are volcanoes punishment from God? What do a fly and a mulberry have in common? What utopias await in unexplored corners of the earth and beyond? During the Enlightenment, questions like these were brought to life through an astonishing array of prints and drawings, helping shape public opinion and stir political change. "Dare to Know" overturns common assumptions about the age, using the era’s proliferation of works on paper to tell a more nuanced story. Echoing the structure and sweep of Diderot’s "Encyclopédie," the book contains 26 thematic essays, organized A to Z, providing an unprecedented perspective on more than 50 artists, including Henry Fuseli, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Francisco Goya, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, William Hogarth, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, and Giambattista Tiepolo. With a multidisciplinary approach, the book probes developments in the natural sciences, technology, economics, and more—all through the lens of the graphic arts.

Edouard Kopp is the John R. Eckel, Jr., Foundation Chief Curator at the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston; Elizabeth M. Rudy is the Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints at the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA; and Kristel Smentek is associate professor of art history in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

With contributions by J. Cabelle Ahn, Elizabeth Saari Browne, Rachel Burke, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Anne Driesse, Paul Friedland, Thea Goldring, Margaret Morgan Grasselli, Ashley Hannebrink, Joachim Homann, Kéla Jackson, Penley Knipe, Edouard Kopp, Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, Heather Linton, Austėja Mackelaitė, Tamar Mayer, Elizabeth Mitchell, Elizabeth M. Rudy, Brandon O. Scott, Kristel Smentek, Phoebe Springstubb, Gabriella Szalay, and Christina Taylor