For the June 2009 Art Poll By Bob, I indulged my inner comic geek and asked a summer blockbuster of a question: “Which of these great comic artist’s work would you want to see on the big screen?” You picked Steve Ditko’s Doctor Strange (1960s) with 7 votes, just edging out Jack Cole’s Plastic Man (1941) with 6. Dave Cockrum’s X-Men (1975) came in third with 5 votes, ahead of fourth place Jack Kirby’s Captain America (1976) with 4. Neal Adams’ Batman versus Ra’s al Ghul (1971), Frank Frazetta’s Conan the Barbarian (1970s), and Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man (1990) all tied with 3 votes each. Joe Kubert’s Hawkman squeeked out a single vote, but John Romita, Sr.’s Spider-Man (1967) and Joe Shuster’s Superman (1938) found no love. Thanks to everyone who shared in my comic book fantasies.
Inspired by Iris Schaefer, Katja Lewerentz, and Caroline von Saint-George’s Painting Light: The Hidden Techniques of the Impressionists (my review here), I decided to tap into my inner Beaker (above) and use the scientific method to find the best science-related art. For the July 2009 Art Poll By Bob, I ask, “Which of these science-related works of art make you wish you had paid more attention in high school lab?”:
Joseph Wright of Derby. An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768).
Eakins and Peale get two mentions each because they did so many science-related paintings. Durer’s Melancolia I makes the cut because I can’t think of a single image in art history that contains more references to mathematics. Please feel free to include any favorites that I may have missed in the comments. But now put on your lab coat, strap on those safety goggles, fire up the Bunsen burners, and vote!