Gregor Mendel: The genius of genetics

Abbey of St Thomas, Brno

21 May 2002 – 21 May 2003

This exhibition project and its related publication went beyond the romantic myth of the cloistered monk undertaking incongruous experiments with peas; it looked at Mendel’s background and the driving force behind his scientific discovery.

The exhibition explored Mendel the man and what led to the formulation of his laws of heredity setting the history of genetics within our contemporary context, involving in the debate scientists and artists in an innovative and stimulating way.

The exhibition travelled at the 2003 Science of Festival in Genova Gregor Mendel: Il Genio della Genetic, and is now a permanent of the Mendel Museum, Brno, Czech Republic

Alongside historical items, the exhibition included works by seven contemporary artists – Christine Borland, Susan Derges, Matilda Downs, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, Rob Kesseler, Gerhard Lang and herman de vries – selected because they offered new and vivid creative perspectives and searching insights through their personal investigations on the relationship between art and science. Furthermore, each shared a fascination with the classification of nature, with the patterns observed in natural phenomena and the animal kingdom and with the scientific search for explanations of deep formal affinities across diverse physical and biological systems. We are grateful to them for having provided the visual and intellectual sparkle that helps to bring new life to the documentary evidence of the past.

The Mendel Museum has been recommended by Lonely Planet Eastern Europe Guide.

Further information can be found at

Genes & Genius: The inheritance of Gregor Mendel

Field Museum, Chicago followed by an American Tour


In 2002 Artakt curated the first major exhibition on Gregor Mendel called, ‘The Genius of Genetics’. As a follow up, Genes and Genius explored the development of classical genetics from Mendel to Muller. As with the first exhibition, Genes and Genius brought together, in a unique way, historical objects, some never shown in public before, along side contemporary artworks.

The two exhibitions were jointly presented in Gregor Mendel: Planting the Seeds of Genetics, Field Museum, Chicago, 2006-07 followed by an American Tour (Mendel Museum).