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MALS Alumna Curates Show at the Drawing Center

Image: Chiasmodon niger Stomach Contents,
Else Bostelmann Bermuda 1931.
Watercolor on paper, 11 x 14 inches (27.9 x 35.6 cm).
Else Bostelmann © Wildlife Conservation Society.

Alumna Katherine McLeod (MALS 2017) curates exhibition at the Drawing Center in Manhattan.

Exploratory Works: Drawings from the Department of Tropical Research Field Expeditions

April 14, 2017 - June 25, 2017

This exhibition brings to light for the first time an archive of images that illustrate the formation of our modern definition of nature. William Beebe (1877–1962) was one of America's greatest popularizers of ecological thinking and biological science. Beebe literally took the lab into the jungle, rather than the jungle to the lab. The Department of Tropical Research was pioneering in that, under Beebe’s direction, women were hired as lead scientists and field artists. Artist Isabel Cooper, joining in 1919, publicly relished her opportunity to travel through the jungles of Guyana juggling a “vivid serpent or tapestried lizard in one hand, and the best grade of Japanese paintbrush in the other.” The structure of The Drawing Center’s exhibition will mirror the two salient stages of the Department of Tropical Research's investigations: jungle field station work and floating laboratories for marine biology—revealing that artists and scientists worked closely and productively in the near past and that scientists once understood art as a valuable tool for promoting ecological thinking to a broad public. 


Curated by Mark Dion, Katherine McLeod, and Madeleine Thompson

Submitted on: FEB 15, 2017

Category: Liberal Studies