In her exhibition devoted to the development of contour lines by Newcastle mathematician, Charles Hutton, Karen Rann has researched the life and work of this unsung hero. Starting with his book, ‘A Treatise on Mensuration’, published in 1764, Hutton’s longstanding interest in land surveying reached its highpoint (literally) with his processing of the observations taken during a scientific experiment on the notable Scottish mountain of Schiehallion.
It was from the reduction and plotting of this data that he developed the idea of land-based contour lines. From the original data, Karen has recreated the pattern of contour lines around Schiehallion (the original maps have been lost), and has created further artistic works based on those contours and contour lines in other places.
Alongside the reconstructed map, models and drawings, archival material pertaining to Charles Hutton and held by the Literary & Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne is on display.
Contact: Karen Rann at the Lit and Phil Society