Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 11:35 pm | Fair 65º

 
 
 
 

Art Mirrors Life in Exhibit of Antique Prints at Natural History Museum

Historic illustration of durian fruit.
Historic illustration of durian fruit. (Berthe Hoola Van Nooten)

Fifty rare and historic prints from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s collection of some 3,500 engravings and lithographs will be on display June 22-Sept. 3 in the museum’s John and Peggy Maximus Gallery.

The collection, relating to the history of scientific research and exploration, spans the period from about 1600-1900 and encompasses all subjects of natural history.
 
The purpose of natural history art is to assist the scientist in their work to identify, describe, classify and name species. Many of the illustrations were made during an era in which the world’s flora and fauna were being described for the first time.

As European voyages sailed to new lands beyond the boundaries of the known world, naturalists aboard documented their findings, and brought back vast collections of plants and animals new to science.

Because images captured nature in ways that complemented written descriptions, a visual record became an essential element of this process. The detailed illustrations were published in significant numbers so others could share information.

“These unique works give us a glimpse into history and how the sciences developed,” said Maximus Gallery curator Linda Miller. “For our summer show, we selected images that correlate to the museum’s extensive natural history collections of more than 3.5 million objects.

“These objects, including our antique prints, are used for research by our curatorial staff as well as visiting scientists from around the world. They provide valuable data and serve as a vast archive for ongoing investigations.”
 
What began as a fundamental aid to scientific inquiry became prized works in themselves and were sought after for their intrinsic beauty — a blend of art and science.
 
Entry to the exhibit The Art of Natural History: Rare Treasures From Our Antique Print Collection is free with paid museum admission. The Maximus Gallery is open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., excluding June 30 when the museum hosts the soldout Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival.
 
For more information about the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, visit www.sbnature.org.

— Briana Sapp Tivey for Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >