Rational Order: Carl von Linné 1707-1778

A celebration of the Kingdom Animalia and Linnaeus's ordering of it.
Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet”. It may well smell the same but how would you find it in a garden of similar looking flowers? Such was the problem facing Carl von Linné (or Linnaeus) when he devised a simple two-part Latin naming system placing all known plants and animals into a rational order. Today – when half of the world’s plants and animals are facing extinction – the work of naming flora and fauna through Linnaeus' system continues across the globe. This exhibition celebrates his legacy and investigates the spectacular diversity in the kingdom Animalia.

A free catalogue of this exhibition is available as a downloadable PDF [4.6Mb]

Links for Linnaeus – the official site of the Linnean Society of London where Linnaeus’s collections are maintained. – a site with digital copies of Linnaeus’s letters, manuscripts and original documentation. – Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden will host an exhibition, conference and range of events for the tercentenary. – the Linnaeus site hosted by the Swedish Institute - home site of the Linnean Society of NSW.

Rhubarb and Pearls: Order and Disorder

Poetry and science were entwined in the Enlightenment era of Linnaeus. A selction of poems by John Bennet written for Rational Order continues this legacy of stimulating conversation, memory, imagination, art and science through the exhibition and arrangement of words.
The earth is then nothing else but a museum of all-wise Creators masterpieces, divided into three chambers.
- Linnaeus (1754)
Consequently: he who wants to have right without wrong,/ Order without disorder,
does not understand the principles/Of heaven and earth./ He does not know how/ Things hang together.

To read the introduction flyer Click Here
To read a selection of these poems please Click Here
To read the talk given at the event please Click Here for more details.