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Gabriel von Max, Abelard and Heloise, c. 1900, oil on canvas. The Jack Daulton Collection. Photography by Don Tuttle/Marty Kelly.

The Apes & Us: A Century of Representations of Our Closest Relatives

Centering upon a set of paintings by the Austrian artist and evolutionist Gabriel von Max (1840-1915), The Apes & Us explores a century of of representations of primates in relation to humans.  Come tour the cultural fascination with apes that began in the decades after Darwin published On the Origin of Species (1859) as it spread into art, literature, and film, science and pseudoscience, the scholarly and the sensational.


Exhibit Catalog

The companion catalog, which presents the exhibition text next to full color images of the artifacts on display, is available in print and digital formats. 

Interactive Wall

Explore Connections

We invite patrons to consider how apes are represented in media and in relation to humans in two interactive displays. 


Opening Celebration

Please join us in celebrating the exhibit opening on Friday, January 12, 2024 in Hohbach Hall from 6:00 - 7:00 PM. 


Jessica Riskin

is Frances and Charles Field Professor of History at Stanford, where she teaches modern European history and the history of science. Her research focuses on the relations of science, politics and culture and the history of scientific explanation. She is the author of The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick (2016), which won the Patrick Suppes Prize in the History of Science from the American Philosophical Society. Her book about science and revolution in France, Science in the Age of Sensibility (2002), won the American Historical Association’s J. Russell Major prize for best book in French history.


Caroline Winterer

is William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies, and Professor by courtesy of Classics, and Chair of the History Department at Stanford. She specializes in American history before 1900, especially the history of ideas, political thought, material culture, and the history of science. She is the author of five books, including American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason. For her mapping of the social network of Benjamin Franklin, she received an American Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian Institution.