Sunday, October 12, 2014

Art & Science Through The Natural History Print

Santa Barbara Natural History Museum has a spectacular art collection of natural history illustrations dating from the 17th to 19th century. From the Maximus Gallery website, these antique engravings and lithographs:
"...give us a glimpse into history, help us to understand how the sciences developed, and show how people communicated in an earlier age. Originally used for scientific identification, as printing methods improved and more artists were involved, they became sought after for their intrinsic beauty; a blend of art and science...

These beautiful and historic works are lasting testimony to the contribution that art has made to our understanding of the natural world during the last four centuries."
While attending a recent iDigBio workshop, we were able to tour the collection and speak with the curator, Linda Miller about her program. The gallery often pairs selections from its holdings with specimens from the Natural History collections in order to increase the impact of both.

I followed up with Linda later about the relationship between art and science, and hope to hear back from her soon.  I'll update this post if she has anything to add.

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