Sympathetic Detail: R.F. Deckert and the Art of Natural History Illustration‚Ä®
MSU MUSEUM EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS THE INTERSECTION OF ART & SCIENCE
The Art, Science, and Creativity Gallery at the¬†MSU¬†Museum is featuring a new exhibit of natural history illustrations. Before the widespread use of photography, hand-drawn and ‚Äďpainted illustrations were taken from life or from specimens. These illustrations reveal that scientists and artists alike depend on careful observation as a key to understanding the natural world.
The exhibit, drawn from the history collection of the¬†MSU¬†Museum, presents a striking array of 22 watercolor paintings created in the¬†1910s-20s¬†by the artist and amateur naturalist R. F.¬†Deckert(1878-1971).¬†Deckert¬†spent his adult life collecting and researching animals, particularly reptiles and amphibians, for museums, universities, and scholars.
‚ÄúRichard F.¬†Deckert‚Äôs¬†sympathetically rendered watercolor paintings reveal more than the interests and talent of a talented artist-naturalist,‚ÄĚ explains Shirley T.¬†Wajda,¬†MSU¬†Museum curator of history, who created the exhibit. ‚ÄúThese images contain evidence about the community of amateurs and scholars who together investigated the natural world, adding new knowledge about various species and deepening our understanding of environmental change.‚ÄĚ
These illustrations were donated to the¬†MSU¬†Museum from the collection of Howard Atwood Kelly, one of the founders of the Johns Hopkins University Hospital and a respected amateur herpetologist.
Curator-Led Exhibition Tours¬†
Saturdays: January 21, February 18, March 18 and April 22, May 13, October 14, 2017, 2:00 p.m.
Curator-Led Brown Bag Talk¬†
Thursday, April 13, 2017
12:15 ‚Äď 1 p.m.
The exhibit and related programs are supported in part by funds from the¬†MSU¬†Federal Credit Union. "Sympathetic Detail" runs through November 22, 2017 in the¬†MSU¬†Museum's Art, Science, Creativity Gallery.
more illustrations by R.F.¬†Deckert¬†on Flickr