Multcolib Picks: Natural History Illustration
Annotation:America's Other Audubon chronicles the story of Genevieve Jones, her family, and the making of an extraordinary nineteenth-century book, Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio.
Annotation:Online access from the Smithsonian Libraries: Illustrations of the nests and eggs of birds of Ohio was published in the small town of Circleville, Ohio, over a period of eight years (from 1879 to 1886) through the dedicated efforts of the family and friends of a young woman named Genevieve Jones. Despite being produced not just by amateurs but largely by women, far from the publishing houses and intellectual centers of 19th-century America, the book was hailed as an extraordinary achievement from the moment its first few plates were published.
Annotation:There is more to a bird than simply feathers. And just because birds evolved from a single flying ancestor doesn't mean they are structurally all the same. With over 385 stunning drawings depicting 200 species, The Unfeathered Bird is a richly illustrated book on bird anatomy that offers refreshingly original insights into what goes on beneath the feathered surface.
Annotation:A most unusual collection of natural specimens Albertus Seba 's Cabinet of Curiosities is one of the 18th century's greatest natural history achievements and remains one of the most prized natural history books of all time .
Annotation:An astonishing visual record of the exploration of parts of the natural world that had never previously been documented. It features many of the greatest natural history artists of the last 300 years--Merian, Bartram, Ehret, the Bauer brothers, Audubon and Gould.
Annotation:The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.”
Annotation:More than 86,000 natural history images from the BHL available to search and view on flickr.
Annotation:At the age of fifty-two, Merian traveled with her younger daughter to Suriname, a Dutch territory in South America, to paint its exotic flora and fauna. Many of the drawings produced by Merian in the South American jungle were later published as hand-colored engravings in her book Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname (1705), which brought her widespread fame.
Annotation:In this atmospheric and enthralling novel, Katherine Govier tells the story of a man torn between the lies he has lived by and the truth he now needs. Her novel recreates the summer in which "the world's greatest living bird artist" finally understood the paradox embedded in his art: that the act of creation is also an act of destruction.
Annotation:This is the story of a tortoise whose real life was observed by the eighteenth-century English curate Gilbert White, author ofThe Natural History of Selborne. For thirteen years, Timothy lived in White's garden--making an occasional appearance in his journals. Now Klinkenborg gives the tortoise an unforgettable voice and powers of observation as keen as those of any bipedal naturalist.
Annotation:During a meteoric career that spanned from 1825 to 1834, David Douglas made the first systematic collections of flora and fauna over many parts of the greater Pacific Northwest. Despite his early death, colleagues in Great Britain attached the Douglas name to more than 80 different species, including the iconic timber tree of the region. David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work is a colorfully illustrated collection of essays that examines various aspects of Douglas's career, demonstrating the connections between his work in the Pacific Northwest of the 19th century and the place we know today.
Annotation:Attenborough describes the methods by which selected European artists, from Leonardo Da Vinci to Mark Catesby, portrayed the natural world during the Age of Discovery.
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Anyone interested in the beauty of the natural world will be drawn to the interlocking fields of art and science that natural history illustration creates. From the Biodiversity Heritage Library's digital collections to Seba's 18th century curiosity cabinets, from Genevieve Jones' nests and eggs to Van Grouw's denuded birds this list covers a large range of natural history illustration and writings over the centuries.