Roxbury Latin School

Roxbury Latin School

Roxbury Latin School, Roxbury, MA

“Newton to Einstein” was commissioned in 1998 by the Roxbury Latin School, Roxbury, MA for their new science building. Austine worked with Physics teacher Rick Dower — who had seen and admired her Boston Museum of Science mural — to create a work of art that would address the theme of light.

The Challenge.

The inherent duality in the quality of light is a subject of great interest to Austine, since her medium is so much about light. Light acts like both a particle and a wave, a dual nature that puzzles even the greatest scientific minds. Two of the greatest scientists of human history, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, did a great deal of work on the subject of light and are thus represented in the Polage.

The Solution.

The Polage resides in the lightbox pictured above. From Newton with a candle to Einstein with a lightbulb, these great minds are represented with the subject that so interested them. The rainbow emanating from the sun is represented as a series of distinct pieces — a particle and a wave.

Behind Isaac Newton, a city skyline–Boston–can be seen, and near the lightbulb in the Einstein view, one sees a representation of the famous double slit experiment that proved that light acts as both a particle and a wave.