Today’s Apple watch signals the cutting edge of technological advancement, and wearing one signals a certain know-how and elite status. In the courts of Europe, displays of the latest in science and technology served much the same function. In “Making Marvels,” courtly objects from 1550 to 1750 demonstrate how rulers elaborately presented scientific discoveries to delight audiences and convey political wisdom and power. Among the fascinations: furniture crafted from silver, the world’s largest green diamond, and the “Draughtsman-Writer,” an automaton with a “memory” that is now seen as a predecessor to the computer. The exhibition includes kid-friendly activities and a family vacation from screen time. —C.J.F.
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