As a Public History Fellow, Elisabeth (Lisa) Berry Drago connects research and collections with broad audiences in innovative ways. Her tools are objects, stories, people, and ideas; her goals are engagement and open dialogue. She develops exhibitions and programs that highlight relationships between science, technology, art, and society.
Most recently, Berry Drago curated Things Fall Apart (2017–2018) and Age of Alchemy (opening May 4, 2018). She is the winner of a 2018 American Alliance of Museums’ Award for Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing (Things Fall Apart). Berry Drago is also cohost (with Alexis Pedrick) of the Science History Institute’s podcast on the odd and fascinating histories of science, Distillations.
Berry Drago holds a PhD in art history from the University of Delaware, specializing in the representation of science and artisanal work, the history of the print, and artistic identity-making. Her forthcoming book, Painted Alchemists, will be the first on the painter Thomas Wijck (1616–1677), whose pictures of alchemists in the laboratory offer new perspectives on early modern science and artistry. Berry Drago’s project explores the connections between experimental work and the transformations performed by early modern artists; raw materials, pigments, and studio processes shed new light on the importance of painters to a greater “Golden Age” of discovery.