5 episodes

Oxford University Museum of Natural History is a unique fusion of architecture, science and art. Built in the 1850s, it uses sculpture, painting and design to embody scientific principles and discoveries. In this series of illustrated podcasts, recorded to accompany his book Temple of Science: The Pre-Raphaelites and Oxford University Museum of Natural History, John Holmes takes us on a guided tour of the art and architecture of the museum, revealing how leading scientists collaborated with artists of genius to create one of the great masterpieces of the Gothic Revival and Pre-Raphaelite art.

John Holmes is Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham and an Honorary Associate of Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Temple of Science Oxford University

    • Education

Oxford University Museum of Natural History is a unique fusion of architecture, science and art. Built in the 1850s, it uses sculpture, painting and design to embody scientific principles and discoveries. In this series of illustrated podcasts, recorded to accompany his book Temple of Science: The Pre-Raphaelites and Oxford University Museum of Natural History, John Holmes takes us on a guided tour of the art and architecture of the museum, revealing how leading scientists collaborated with artists of genius to create one of the great masterpieces of the Gothic Revival and Pre-Raphaelite art.

John Holmes is Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham and an Honorary Associate of Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

    • video
    Episode 1 – Oxford's Pre-Raphaelite Natural History Museum

    Episode 1 – Oxford's Pre-Raphaelite Natural History Museum

    In the first episode of Temple of Science we find out how the Museum came to be, involving not only scientists but artists, architects and designers in one of the most original creative collaborations of the Victorian age. Launched in 1847, the campaign to found and build a new museum dedicated to teaching science at Oxford University took over a decade to come to fruition. When the museum finally opened in 1860, it combined cutting-edge science with inspiring art.

    • 8 min
    • video
    Episode 2 – 'God’s Own Museum': The Façade

    Episode 2 – 'God’s Own Museum': The Façade

    In episode 2 of Temple of Science, we take a closer look at the decoration on the outside of the Museum building, which captures the vitality of nature, presented in Victorian Oxford as the study of God’s creation. From the outset, Oxford University Museum wanted to teach the principles of natural history through art as well as science. In this episode we take a close look at the museum’s façade. The carvings round the windows, incorporating designs by John Ruskin and carved by the brilliant Irish stonemason and sculptor James O’Shea, revel in the vitality of nature, while the decorations round the main entrance remind us that, for the scientists in Victorian Oxford, natural history was the study of God’s creation.

    • 8 min
    • video
    Episode 3 – The Sanctuary of the Temple of Science: The Central Court

    Episode 3 – The Sanctuary of the Temple of Science: The Central Court

    The central court of the Museum was described by one founder as ‘the sanctuary of the Temple of Science’. In this episode we see how every detail of this unique space was carefully planned and crafted to form a comprehensive model of natural science.

    • 8 min
    • video
    Episode 4 – Chambers of the Ministering Priests: Building Scientific Disciplines

    Episode 4 – Chambers of the Ministering Priests: Building Scientific Disciplines

    The Museum was founded on the principle that art should be used to teach science and to inspire generations of scientists. In episode 4 of Temple of Science we see how this was put into practice in some of the building’s less familiar spaces.

    • 8 min
    • video
    Episode 5 – Babylon: Natural Theology versus Scientific Naturalism

    Episode 5 – Babylon: Natural Theology versus Scientific Naturalism

    When Museum opened in 1860, a new secular approach to science was on the rise. In the final episode of Temple of Science we see how ‘natural theology’ responded to the challenges of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution and natural selection.

    • 8 min

Top Podcasts In Education

Mel Robbins
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
The Atlantic
Ashley Corbo
Rich Roll
Jordan Harbinger

More by Oxford University

Oxford University
Oxford University
Oxford University
Oxford University
Oxford University
Oxford University