The title of the exhibition, the Spanish word SERENDIPIA – or serendipity in English – leads us back to Horace Walpole (1717-1797) who used the term in a letter to a friend in 1754 describing a lucky find. He created the word from the title of a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, he had read as a child. Serendip is an ancient name for Sri Lanka. The three main characters in the fairy tale possessed special powers of detection to find the un-sought and from shrewd observations, deductions and synthesis concluded to facts, that were apparently beyond their reach.
The term is often used in the scientific world describing coincidences or incidental accidents leading to useful inventions or discoveries. For instance, Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin or Newton’s apple, which resulted in his theory of the law of gravity.
In following Newsletters I will describe the concepts of the three parts that compose the exhibition:
Kosmos – Polykosmos – Psykokosmos
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