Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science

In the 17th century, when insects were called beasts of the devil, and women were virtually excluded from the field of science, a young German woman named Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) dedicated her life to the study and depiction of the metamorphosis of insects. Merian’s extraordinary accomplishments in art and science and those of her most important pupils—her daughters Johanna Helena and Dorothea Maria—will be on view in Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Center, June 10—August 31, 2008, the first major exhibition of Merian’s work in America.

The exhibition will explore various aspects of Merians career, including her hand-colored publications on flowers and insects, her successful business venture in Amsterdam as a specimen-supplier for the collectors and naturalists, and her extraordinary journey to Suriname and the scientific discoveries that resulted.


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