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New York

New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room: Secrets From The Past

In a special after-hours session, turn the pages of some of New York Academy of Medicine's favorite secrets texts authored by magicians, alchemists, and artisans.

What do early modern book titles like Aristotle's Masterpiece, The Queen's Closet, and Natural Magic all have in common? These books, printed in Europe and continuing the medieval tradition of "books of secrets," all promise to reveal desirable technical knowledge to their privileged readers. 

You'll survey culinary recipes, magic tricks, recipes for sexual pleasure, and alchemical formulas promising to turn baser metals to gold. Authored by magicians, alchemists and artisans alike, they aim to deliver specialized knowledge to a wider readership. And while you may not find that elusive Philosopher's Stone, you'll have a better understanding of how modern science got its sea legs.

In this three-part series of Wednesday evening sessions throughout 2017, we'll explore The New York Academy of Medicine's collections in the intimate after-hours setting of its beautiful rare book room, guided by two of its stewards.

Join us for one, or all three of the sessions.  

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