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Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium

by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

A portfolio of seventeen plates reproduced in 1964

Hawn Gallery, April 27 - June 28, 1998

Portfolio from the Dr. Eleanor Tufts Archive on Women Artists on deposit at SMU

Excerpt from the portfolio Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium:

MARIA SIBYLLA MERIAN, born in 1647 in Frankfurt on the Main, was a daughter of the renowned engraver and publisher, Matthaeus Merian. From childhood she showed a vivid interest in the world of plants and insects. In her engravings an eminent artistic talent meets with scientific accuracy. First she worked in Nuremberg, the birthplace of her husband, and at a later period in the Netherlands. From 1690 to 1701 she stayed, as a member of the Labadist congregation, in Surinam (Dutch Guiana), exploring the hitherto unknown beauties of tropical plants and butterflies; her most significant work, the METAMORPHOSIS INSECTORUM SURINAMENSIUM, was the result of this voyage. After her return to Europe, the artist died in 1717 in Amsterdam.


Leningrad Watercolours by Maria Sibylla Merian (Folio QH31.M4513 A34 1974 DeGolyer Library Closed Stacks, SMU )

Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives by Natalie Zemon Davis (CT3233 .D38 1995 Fondren Library Stacks, SMU)

*Two websites about the recently released U.S. Postal Stamps using images from the portfolio: Did you know? and Entomological Art

*Two biographical websites about the artist: German language biography from the Karlsruhe Universitat and The Flowering Talent of Maria Sibylla Merian from the National Museum of Women in the Arts

For information regarding the exhibit please call Sam Ratcliffe (214/768-2303) or Ellen Buie Niewyk (214/768-1859).

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