Emerson Gallery

History of Exhibitions


Teaching the Stars: Prints and Photographs from the Christian H.F. Peters Papers

January 18 - April 18, 2010
Peters Papers
Solar Prominences
Harvard College Observatory
PI. 9

In 1858, Hamilton College's Litchfield Observatory boasted the second largest telescope lens in the nation and was a classroom for newly appointed professor of astronomy, Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters. The German-born astronomer became one of the world's foremost solar physicists and served as an artillery officer for Guiseppe Garibaldi before making his way to America. While at Hamilton, Peters determined longitudes of several cities within the state, earned recognition for discovering asteroids, and continued his work on solar events.

Among Peters' papers in the Hamilton College Library Archives are stunning photographs and prints depicting celestial phenomena that he used for teaching and personal study. These prints are presented for the first time and feature a series of photographs and plates from Peters' own observations.

This exhibition is organized by Consulting Director Ian Berry and Associate Director and Curator Susanna White.

The Emerson Gallery's programs are made possible with funds from The Dietrich Foundation, The John B. Root '44 Exhibition Fund, The Edward W. and Grace C. Root Endowment Fund, and The William G. Roehrick '34 Lecture Fund.