Enfilade

Online Talk | Kay Etheridge on Maria Sibylla Merian

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on August 11, 2022

Part of this fall’s offerings from Smithsonian Associates:

Kay Etheridge | Maria Sibylla Merian: A Biologist to the Bone
Online, Smithsonian Associates, Thursday, 17 November 2022, 6.45pm

Maria Sibylla Merian, Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium (The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname), plate 31 (Amsterdam, 1705).

The aesthetic appeal of the images created by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) has led history to label her as an artist who painted and etched natural history subjects. However, Merian was as passionate a naturalist (biologist in modern terms) as Charles Darwin or Carl Linnaeus, and like all scientists, she was impelled by her curiosity about nature. Merian was the first person to spend decades studying the relationships of insects and plants, and her work revolutionized what came to be the field of ecology. Kay Etheridge, professor emeritus of biology at Gettysburg College, draws on Merian’s own words to consider her motivations in the context of her time and place, and discusses Merian’s body of work in comparison to that of her near-contemporaries working in natural history. $20 (members) / $25 (nonmembers).

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