Coveting Nature explores the ways in which botanists and entomologists worked in tandem with artists and illustrators to record and disseminate knowledge in the early modern period (1500-1800). Natural history owes much to the tradition of assembling cabinets of curiosity in which natural specimens were collected alongside objects with geological, ethnographic, and artistic significance. In this period, the refinement of printed images revolutionized the observational sciences. Increasingly sophisticated woodcuts and eventually engravings, which could be augmented with hand coloring, largely superseded hand-drawn images, more crude woodcuts, and verbal descriptions in scientific publications, while also appealing to artists and art lovers. These refined images were made by professional printmakers as well as by author-illustrators that engraved the plates for their own publications. “Coveting Nature” will also explore the early and significant contributions of female artists and naturalists, such as Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717), Anna Ruysch (1666-1754), and Elizabeth Blackwell (1707-1758), and their enduring legacy. Museum hours are 9am Monday through Saturday until 5 pm Monday through Saturday, and until 9 pm Thursday. This event is free and open to the public.
- Starting Thursday, August 31st, 2017, repeats every day until Friday, December 22, 2017 — all day