“On the Origin of Species: Texts and Contexts for Charles Darwin’s Great Work.”
September 14 - December 9, 2009

See a slide show of Darwin's drawings.

Drawing on the rich special collections of the DeGolyer Library at SMU, this major exhibition will focus on all the lifetime editions of On the Origin of Species, as well as Charles Darwin's other publications, with the work of 18th-century and 19th-century naturalists (Darwin's predecessors and contemporaries) providing context.

Reactions to Darwin, both from the popular press and the scientific community, will also be featured.

The DeGolyer exhibition is part of a year-long celebration at SMU honoring the 150th anniversary of the first publication of On the Origin of Species and the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth.

Sample of Cartoons and Comments
(Click on an image to see a larger, more readable version.)

By Thomas Nast
"Mr. Bergh to the Rescue."
Harper's Weekly
New York, Aug. 19, 1871,
p. 776.

"A Logical Refutation of Mr. Darwin's Theory."
London, April 1, 1871,
p. 130.

"Piety and Parallel."
London, Nov. 30, 1872,
p. 222.

Merchant's Gargling Oil Songster
Lockport, N.Y.: Merchant's Gargling Oil, [1887]
DeGolyer, Pamphlet Collection, M1628 .M58

"Man Is But a Worm."
Punch's Almanack for 1882
London, Dec. 6, 1881.

This cartoon shows a worm emerging from "Chaos" and evolving into various animals,
culminating in a Victorian dandy bowing to Darwin, who strikes a pose much like God in Michaelangelo's famous painting in the Sistine Chapel. It is a satire on Darwin's most recent book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, With Observations on Their Habits.

London, May 18, 1861,
p. 206.

"Am I a Man and a Brother?" asks a gorilla, playing off the anti-slavery campaign, with a humorous verse commenting on the reaction to Darwin.