Museum Home Past Exhibitions Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science

June 10–August 31, 2008 at the Getty Center

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Browse reactions of other viewers below. These reactions were submitted to this site between June 10 and August 31, 2008. The site is now closed to new reactions. The opinions presented here may have been edited and do not reflect the opinions of the Getty.

Posted on 08/26/08 by Rachel, Salt Lake City, UT
It was breathtaking! Seeing all the intricate detail in person can't be reproduced in any other medium. I'm so glad that I got to see it. I love this sort of art. Thanks Getty!

Posted on 08/26/08 by Paula, Afton, MN
I learned about the art and life of Maria Sibylla as a Minneapolis Institute of Art "Art Adventure" volunteer at our children's school. I continue to be fascinated by Ms. Merian's extraordinary achievement and contributions to the scientific world. Thanks so much for putting this exhibition together. I only wish I could see it in person. This Web site is a valuable resource for showing the importance of the link between art and science. Thanks again.

Posted on 08/23/08 by M. W Glenn, Atlanta, GA
How I wanted to see this exhibit in person but was not able to—so what a joy to see this much of it online—and that so beautifully done. How wonderful to see plates from the full span of her work; the audio adds such warmth; and the excellence of the information imparted throughout is superlative. Thank you.

Posted on 08/21/08 by N.R.P., Flagstaff, AZ
As a student of early French and English naturalists in America, I discovered Merian quite by accident in winter 2008, during a period of readings about the life of Mark Catesby, the 18th c. English naturalist and de facto "distance teacher" of the teenage William Bartram, thanks to Bartram's father John, and his patron Peter Collinson, who repeatedly sent the younger Bartram's drawings to Catesby for comment. What a surprise then, after reading Natalie Zemon Davis' 1995 monograph on Merian, to begin realizing that Maria Sibylla Merian had been a seminal, if distant influence on Catesby himself—and thus, also on an entire North American scientific-artistic lineage that ends with John James Audubon. How wonderful that one of the naturalists at the head of the trail followed by all of these men, had been a woman.

And what a singular coincidence, only a few months later, to learn that the Getty had mounted this show...which I have just returned from visiting in awe and delight, after driving ten hours from Flagstaff to Los Angeles!

Special thanks for mounting the Merian exhibit in parallel to your current Marvel and Measure of Peru exhibit in the Research Institute—so many parallels and connections, for anyone who has read about the journeys of European naturalists in both Americas, 16th–19th c. Thank you!

Posted on 07/06/08 by J. Krause, Omaha, NE
Outstanding! In summer school next week we will be using the information from the Getty as we look at Merian's art and butterflies. It is a bonus to have the audio to include as well! Thank you from an art educator who values your work.

Posted on 06/20/08 by H. Berger, Jr., Santa Cruz, CA
This is a suggestion. I don't think any of Merian's prose has been translated into English. It would be great if the Getty Foundation could use this exhibit as a stimulus for such a project.

Editor's Note: Maria Sibylla Merian's letters appear in translation in two places: in the exhibition catalogue Maria Sibylla Merian, Artist and Naturalist 1647–1717 by Kurt Wettengl (1998), and in a facsimile, Maria Sibylla Merian, Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, edited by Elizabeth Rücker and William T. Stearn (1980).