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Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout


Radioactive tells the story of an artist and writer who drew on the vast collections of The New York Public Library to create a new work of art. Lauren Redniss was a Fellow at the Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers in 2008–09, where she worked on a book of visual art and narrative nonfiction called Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout (HarperCollins, December 2010).

This exhibition traces a library researcher’s creative process—offering just one example of the many ways in which The New York Public Library’s treasures inspire fresh ideas, scholarship, and art.

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout is presented in collaboration with Parsons the New School for Design.

"Radioactive is quite unlike any book I have ever read—part history, part love story, part art work, and all parts sheer imaginative genius."

- Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Outliers 


Explore the Online Exhibition  »

Produced by Lauren Redniss and students at Parsons the New School for Design


This exhibition has been made possible by the continuing generosity of Miriam and Ira D. Wallach.

Additional support for this exhibition was provided by Martha J. Fleischman.

Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, Jonathan Altman, and Pannonia Foundation.

The Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, John and Constance Birkelund, The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and additional gifts from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Mel and Lois Tukman, Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, William W. Karatz, The Rona Jaffe Foundation,  Mary Ellen von der Heyden, Merilee and Roy Bostock, Lybess Sweezy and Ken Miller, and Cullman Center Fellows.