Lecture: Art and Ecology in the 17th Century: the Work of Maria Sibylla Merian Dr. Kay Etheridge, Department of Biology, Gettysburg College Thursday, November 3, 2016 6:00PM Niederer Auditorium, Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center Hollins University Free and open to the public The Renaissance heralded changes in Western art and science that reflected a shift in how nature was observed and recorded. Artists portrayed plants and animals with increased fidelity to nature, and natural philosophers began to replace myths with scientific explanations of the natural world. This process relied on direct and careful observation, and often artist became naturalist, or naturalist, artist. Maria Sibylla Merian was the quintessential artist-naturalist; she studied the metamorphosis of butterflies and moths for more than five decades and beginning in 1679 published four beautifully illustrated books. Hers were the first images to portray ecologically related plants and animals together, and influenced a host of naturalists and artists who followed her. Merian’s stunning and naturalistic images worked hand in hand with her text to describe the behavior and ecology of insects in a new way, changing the course of natural history. This lecture by Kay Etheridge is sponsored by the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University and the Hollins University Department of Art. Between Art and Science: Maria Sibylla Merian is on view in the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum September 15 through December 11, 2016. Maria Sibylla Merian (Germany, 1647-1717, active Holland), 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. This exhibition presents 10 works by this remarkable woman including an original watercolor on vellum, six transfer print watercolors, three hand-colored copper plates, as well as two original watercolors on vellum attributed to her daughter, Johanna Helena Herolt-Graff (1668-1723). All works on view have been generously loaned for this exhibit by Arader Galleries, New York and Philadelphia. Between Art and Science: Maria Sibylla Merian is supported in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission and Elizabeth Vann Hobbs ‘58. Admission to the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, including events and programs, is always free and open to the public. Kay Etheridge is Professor of Biology at Gettysburg College. Her current scholarship focuses on the integration of natural history images and the history of biology in the Renaissance and Early Modern periods, with focus on Maria Sibylla Merian. Etheridge co-organized a symposium on Merian that was held in May 2014 at the University of Amsterdam and is a founding member of the Maria Sibylla Merian Society. She is also a painter and has exhibited work at various locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Etheridge’s essays on Maria Sibylla Merian have appeared in the following publications: Maria Sibylla Merian. Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium. Verandering der Surinaamsche Insecten , 1705, (forthcoming publication); Global Scientific Practice in the Age of the Revolutions , 1750-1850, 2016; The Curious Mr. Catesby: A ‘truly ingenious’ naturalist explores new worlds , 2015; Bibliotheca Herpetelogica , 2010; Women and Science: Pioneers, Activists and Protagonists , 2011; Endeavor, 2011. Etheridge has delivered lectures on Maria Sibylla Merian at The Harvard Arboretum, Cambridge, MA; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME; World History Center, Pittsburgh, PA; and Université Stendhal, Grenoble, Switzerland.