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Between Art and Science: Maria Sibylla Merian

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Maria Sibylla Merian (Dutch, b. Germany, 1647-1717), a woman before her time, led a fascinating life of travel and scientific pursuits, making important contributions to botany, entomology and what we now call the field of ecology. She was born into a family of artists and printers, and by the time she was 32 had become obsessed with the life cycle of caterpillars, moths, and butterflies, publishing a book titled The Wondrous Transformation of Caterpillars. Twenty years later, at the age of 52, Merian traveled to the Northwest coast of South America, to Surinam, then a Dutch colony where she spent two years observing, collecting, recording and documenting plants and the life cycles of the exotic insects of that country. The result was Metamophosis insectorium Surinamensium, a lavish folio edition featuring 60 painstakingly accurate, and beautifully hand-colored copperplate engravings. This small exhibition will present 10 works by this remarkable woman including an original watercolor on vellum, six transfer print watercolors, and three hand-colored copper plates as well as two original watercolors on vellum attributed by her daughter, Johanna Helena Herolt-Graff (1668-1717). All works on view have been generously loaned for this exhibit by Arader Galleries, New York and Philadelphia. Public Opening Reception for SECAC 2016 Juried Exhibition and Between Art and Science: Maria Sibylla Merian : Sunday, September 18, 4:00-5:00PM Image: Maria Sibylla Merian, Plate V, from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium , 1705. Hand-colored engraving. Courtesy of Arader Galleries.

Between Art and Science: Maria Sibylla Merian
  • 8009 Fishburn Drive
  • Roanoke, VA 24020
  • to
  • Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University
  • Free
  • Recurring daily