Women Making Discoveries

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Cleopatra
 

CLEOPATRA VII (69–30 BCE) was Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt from 51– 30 BCE and one of the most powerful monarchs in the ancient world. Her reign was intricately linked with that of the Roman generals Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony. While typically better known for her beauty and monarchy than her intelligence, Cleopatra was educated in mathematics, chemistry, philosophy, and spoke nine languages. Muslim scholars as early as 640 CE wrote that Cleopatra met with scientists and authored texts on science, medicine, and cosmetics. She encouraged studies in medicine and influenced elaborate building projects including the Lighthouse of Alexandria, which is one of the wonders of the ancient world.

 

Head to our Ancient Egypt Gallery to check out authentic objects and artifacts, including a mummy, that existed during the Ptolemaic-era time period when Cleopatra reigned!

Ashley Longshore

Cleopatra, 2019

Acrylic on custom wood panel

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

Click to view The Neutronium Alchemist’s video “Not Just a Pretty Face: Cleopatra was a Genius - and a Scientist.”

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Florence Nightingale

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE (1820–1910) was a British nurse, statistician, and social reformer who is known as the founder of modern nursing. Nicknamed “The Lady with the Lamp” because of her reputation for tending to wounded soldiers by lamplight, Nightingale trained and organized nurses during the Crimean War. Nightingale also developed innovative graphs illustrating mortality data that inspired new standards for sanitation in the military. In 1860, Nightingale established the first secular institution to provide professional nurse training with formal medical education: the Nightingale Training School for Nurses.

 

Ashley Longshore

Florence Nightingale, 2019

Acrylic on custom wood panel

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

Click to view a short biography of Florence Nightingale from the History Channel. 

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Hannah Arendt

HANNAH ARENDT (1906–1975) was a Jewish political scientist, philosopher, and Holocaust survivor who was born in Germany. Arendt was known for her critical writings on Jewish affairs and for her efforts to salvage Jewish writings dispersed by the Nazis. Arendt studied totalitarianism and received her doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Heidelberg, where she studied with the German philosopher Martin Heidegger until he joined the Nazi Party in 1933, forcing her to flee to Paris. She eventually moved to New York City and became a naturalized United States citizen in 1951. She lived and worked in New York City until her death. Arendt’s most well-known writings include Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and The Human Condition (1958) and she is considered one of the most influential and analytical political scientists of the twentieth century.

Ashley Longshore

Hannah Arendt, 2019

Acrylic on custom wood panel

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

Click to view the movie trailer for Hannah Arendt, a movie that chronicles the writer’s controversial role in the trial of the infamous Nazi, Adolf Eichmann. 

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Ashley Longshore

Hedy Lamarr, 2019

Acrylic on custom wood panel

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

Hedy Lamarr

HEDY LAMARR (1914–2000) was not only an Austrian American actor and producer during the “Golden Age of Hollywood” but also an important scientist and inventor, though her scientific contributions have been largely overlooked until recent years. Lamarr was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014 for her work with the composer George Antheil in which they designed a new communication system during World War II. Their invention introduced a mechanism known as frequency hopping, the repeated switching of carrier frequency during radio transmissions, that occurs within radio signals. This invention was foundational to the development of cell phones, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems, all pieces of technology that we use in our daily lives today.

Click to view PBS NewsHour’s introduction to “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story,” about the brilliant mind of the Hollywood legend.

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Jane Goodall

JANE GOODALL (b. 1934) is an English zoologist and the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees in the wild. Goodall’s research began in the Gombe Stream National Park in northwestern Tanzania in 1960. Goodall lived among the chimpanzees at this time, observing the creatures in their natural habitat and writing detailed observations. She discovered that chimpanzees are closely related to humans in the way they eat, hunt for food, and use tools and warfare to interact with one another. Goodall has authored several books, including My Friends, the Wild Chimpanzees that was published in 1967, and has produced several films on Gombe chimpanzees.

Ashley Longshore

Jane Goodall, 2019

Acrylic on custom wood panel

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

Click to see a CBS 60 Minutes’ interview with Jane Goodall as she reflects on her 50-year study of the chimpanzees in Gombe forest in Tanzania.

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Christa McAuliffe

CHRISTA MCAULIFFE (1948–1986) was the first teacher and first civilian to travel to space, chosen out of 11,000 applicants to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) “Teacher in Space” project in 1985. She planned to document her entire experience to share with her students and teach several lessons from space. On January 28, 1986, millions watched as she and six other crew members boarded the Space Shuttle Challenger in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Shortly after liftoff, the shuttle broke apart, resulting in the loss of all seven on board. McAuliffe is considered a hero to many and an inspiration for educators and women in STEM, with over forty schools across the world named in her honor. In 2004, McAuliffe was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, and the US Mint created the Christa McAuliffe Silver Dollar in 2021.

Ashley Longshore

Christa McAuliffe, 2022

Acrylic on canvas

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

Click to view a video remembrance of Christa McAuliffe’s preparation for her space flight by Astronomy Films. 

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Ashley Longshore

Greta Thunberg, 2019

Acrylic on custom wood panel

Courtesy of Ashley Longshore Gallery

Greta Thunberg

GRETA THUNBERG (b. 2003) is a Swedish environmental activist who is working to promote the importance of reducing emissions and greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, to protect our planet. As a child, she was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, which she has referred to as her “superpower” that helps her remain dedicated to her activism. As a young child, she learned as much as she could about environmentally critical issues affecting the planet. She began her advocacy work at the young age of fifteen, protesting for change and confronting adult politicians outside of the Swedish parliament. Thunberg continues to travel the world addressing climate issues in such important places as the 2018 United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City. Thunberg has received numerous honors and awards over the course of her career as an activist

Click to view a #NatureNow message from Greta Thunberg.