Balloons and Bombshells - The Science Behind the Spectacle of Vauxhall Gardens
01 June 2012, 18:00 - 20:30
Tickets £10, £8 concessions and Foundling Friends. To book call 020 7841 3600 or drop into the Museum.
Doors 18:00, talk 19:00
Vauxhall's magical mix of music, art, and spectacular display revolutionised access to the arts and assured the Gardens' success for nearly two hundred years. Yet early visitors like John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys were pre-occupied with another revolution as they walked the tree-lined avenues: the revolution in ideas and understanding of the world that would lead to modern science.
From the first, Vauxhall's owners put science and technology to good use: from architecture and lighting, to fireworks and balloon voyages, to mechanical illusions and extravagant theatre sets; science was used, displayed, and practiced for real to create a wonderland of spectacle.
In Balloons and Bombshells - The Science Behind the Spectacle of Vauxhall Gardens, former Vauxhall resident and Science Communicator Tim Jones draws on contemporary reports and images to explore science's long association with the Gardens, their celebrated visitors, and the district of Vauxhall itself. Were the arts and sciences once much closer ? How did early scientists survive in a world without health and safety? And could Vauxhall's ham waiters, as Dickens suggested, really "cut slices thin enough to cover the whole grounds"? With some topical recreation and experiment, all will be revealed on 1st June.
This talk is in conjunction with the Foundling Museum's summer exhibition, The Triumph of Pleasure: Vauxhall Gardens 1729 - 1786.