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Images of pocket-watch inner workings are part of a horology exhibit opening at the Kimball Art Center on February 8. 

Time is undoubtedly one of the most influential and frustrating factors of the human condition. On rare occasions we have too much, but most often, we don’t have enough. Measurement is one way to manage this otherwise uncontrollable reality, which is the focus of a fascinating exhibit titled Horology: The Art and Science of Timepieces at the Kimball Art Center (638 Park Ave, 435.649.8882), February 8 to April 6, 2014.

“Time represents the perfect marriage between art and science, fields that each push the other forward,” says Robin Marrouche, Kimball Art Center executive director. Horology: The Art and Science of Timepieces explores timekeeping from its historical origins to the present. A feature of the exhibit is a collection of photographs of pocket-watch machinery. The painstaking images were recorded by a microscope camera and reveal delicate and beautifully carved mechanics, rarely seen by anyone other than the watchmaker. “The first time I saw these images under the microscope was like getting access to an entirely different world,” says Karol Renau, an electrical engineer and part-time Park City resident who’s disassembled many of his more than 200 clocks and pocket watches to photograph and record each of the individually carved mechanisms.

The exhibition also features a collection of rare Patek Philippe watches on loan from a private collection in Geneva, Switzerland, courtesy of O.C. Tanner. “Art has not always been an exclusively aesthetic pursuit,” says Salvo Vergadavola, Patek Philippe ambassador for O.C. Tanner Jewelers. “Particularly during the Renaissance, artists embodied multiple elements within their work, including mathematical, geometric, and philosophical. Rather than being completely disparate pursuits, art is a medium to explore science and vice versa. This exhibition illustrates that concept in a way people will easily appreciate and understand.”

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