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Urania, in Ancient Greek (meaning 'heavenly' or 'of heaven') was the muse of astronomy and a daughter of Zeus.  She is associated with Universal Love and the Holy Spirit.  She inherited the power and majesty of Zeus and the beauty and grace of her mother, Mnemosyne (the personification of Memory, 
daughter of Uranus and Gaia,
and the mother of the Nine Muses.) 

Those who are most concerned with philosophy and the heavens are dearest to Urania. Those who have been instructed by her she raises aloft to heaven, for it is a fact that imagination and the power of thought lift men's souls to heavenly heights.
    
HILTON | ASMUS CONTEMPORARY PRESENTS 
A TWO NIGHT PRODUCTION OF 
"URANIA" BY JYL BONAGURO

A tragicomedy of the life of Emilie du Châtelet, 
female mathematician, scientist and lover of Voltaire.

Friday, July 25  
Pre-show Book Signing:  6pm  
Performance:  7:30pm 

Saturday July 26
Performance:  7:30pm 

Free with RSVP ** 2 Nights Only  

716 N Wells St. Chicago, IL @ Hilton Asmus Contemporary

   
Chicago - The life of a female intellectual largely forgotten by history emerges in a new play based upon the book, Emilie Du Châtelet: Daring Genius of the Enlightenment  by biographer Judith Zinsser. Urania plunges us back into 18th-century France, where courtly manners were strict and scientific reasoning was the new vogue. It portrays how, after falling in love with Voltaire, Du Châtelet transformed from a social dilettante into one of Europe's leading scientific and philosophic minds.
 
  
Brushed aside by history, Du Châtelet is only recently being recognized as contributing to famous formulas like E=mc2. Unlike the generally more light-hearted dramatic adaptations of her story to date, Urania takes a modern approach that balances her unsung achievements with the nuances of her relationships and the constraints of 18th century attitudes towards women.  

The performances will be held at the Hilton Asmus Contemporary Gallery. Owner and artist, Arica Hilton, will be creating an original painting for the stage backdrop from her Luminism series. On Friday, there will be a pre-show book signing with author Judith Zinsser and playwright Jyl Bonaguro. On Saturday following the show, a brief Q & A will follow with Arica Hilton, Director Eileen Tull, Assistant Director Amber Lee Olivier, and Jyl Bonaguro.

Donations will be accepted through the generous support of 3 Crazy Ladies, Inc. and Art sales from performance evenings will benefit future productions of Urania. Costumes provided through Chicago History Museum's Katy Werlin, Curatorial Assistant & Dramaturge.

"During the past 40 years, study after study has addressed why more women do not become scientists. The question is most apt for physics.... Zinsser debunks legends about the life and loves of the vivacious and unorthodox 18th-century French noblewoman Marquise du Châtelet and analyzes her contribution to physics."Scientific American

 
  Jyl Bonaguro, Playwright               Ellen Dunphy, Emilie             Nathan Ducker, Voltaire 
  
  
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HILTON | ASMUS CONTEMPORARY  
specializes in contemporary paintings, works on paper, fiber art, sculpture and photography. Featuring Chicago based artists, as well as internationally known artists from Europe, and the Mediterranean Region such as Turkey, Greece, Italy, and the Middle East.   
                             
Located in the River North Art District, the gallery is at the corner of Wells and Superior.
 
HILTON ASMUS CONTEMPORARY
716 N. Wells
Chicago, IL 60654 USA
312.475.1788


 "EMILIE du CHATELET"

 
Hilton Asmus Contemporary is pleased to announce the upcoming performance of URANIA: The Life of Emilie du Chatelet, a play by Jyl Bonaguro. It is the story of the love affair between Voltaire and the beautiful Marquise Du Chatelet, the brilliant French mathematician, physicist, and author of the Age of Enlightenment. 
 
There will only be two performances, July 25th and 26th. Seating is limited, so please RSVP to Hilton Asmus Contemporary if you wish to attend.

In May 1734 Voltaire and du Châtelet attended the wedding of the Duc de Richelieu. Days later Voltaire was forced to hide for a couple of months after a warrant was issued for his arrest because of his pro-English, anti-French writings. After that he went to live at Cirey, which was the remote house owned by du Châtelet's husband. Voltaire wrote:
"I found in 1733 a young lady who felt more or less as I did, and who resolved to spend several years in the country to cultivate her mind, far from the tumult of the world. It was the marquise Du Châtelet, the woman who in all France had the greatest disposition for all the sciences. ... Seldom has so fine a mind and so much taste been united with so much ardour for learning; but she also loved the world and all the amusements of her age and sex."
 
In 1735, Emilie du Chatelet translated Bernard Mandeville's "Fable of the Bees." Her preface contains fascinating information about du Châtelet's views on the position of women: 

"I feel the full weight of the prejudice which so universally excludes us from the sciences; it is one of the contradictions in life that has always amazed me, seeing that the law allows us to determine the fate of great nations, but that there is no place where we are trained to think ... Let the reader ponder why, at no time in the course of so many centuries, a good tragedy, a good poem, a respected tale, a fine painting, a good book on physics has ever been produced by a woman. Why these creatures whose understanding appears in every way similar to that of men, seem to be stopped by some irresistible force, but until they do, women will have reason to protest against their education. ... I am convinced that many women are either unaware of their talents by reason of the fault in their education or that they bury them on account of prejudice for want of intellectual courage. My own experience confirms this. Chance made me acquainted with men of letters who extended the hand of friendship to me. ... I then began to believe that I was a being with a mind ..." 
 
 
 
 
 


HILTON | ASMUS CONTEMPORARY | 716 N. Wells Street | Chicago | IL | 60654