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George Biddell Airy, KCB. Print titled "Astronomy" from Vanity Fair's "Men of the Day" series, published November 13, 1875. Caricature by Carlo Pellegrini (pseudonym "Ape"). Airy developed the undulating theory of light. He was one of Britain's foremost astronomers in the 19th century, distinguished as both the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge and as Royal Astronomer, a position he attained at age 34. Gift of Earnest C. Watson. Photo ID FA-PR-0016




Fine Art Collection

The Caltech Archives' fine art holdings center on the history of science and the history of Caltech. The largest body of material is fine prints, including portraits of scientists and philosophers, maps, and perspectives. Portraits in oil and charcoal, as well as oils, watercolors, drawings, portrait busts, and fine architectural renderings round out this collection.

Highlights include a collection of 100 engraved portraits of Benjamin Franklin; the Russell Porter collection of cutaway technical drawings for the design of the 200-inch Palomar telescope in addition to architectural sketches and designs for Caltech buildings and labs; caricatures from Vanity Fair's "Men of the Day" series published between 1868 and 1913; and a set of 19th-century Japanese folkloric woodblock prints concerning the origin of earthquakes, known as catfish prints or Namazu-e.

Fine art holdings may be searched by artist, subject (as in portraits), or keyword through a search of our catalog. Fine art images are available for research and for publication by permission.

Browse fine art images.

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