Exhibit – John Abbot, Early Georgia’s Naturalist Artist

This exhibit includes watercolor illustrations from the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript collections, along with drawings on loan from other museums. The exhibit celebrates the 20th anniversary of the James W.Woodruff, Sr. Center for the Natural History of Georgia.The exhibit was curated by Beth Fowkes Tobin, UGA Professor of English and Women’s Studies, with the aid of a Willson Center Research Fellowship.Of the thousands of drawings Abbot made, fewer than 200 of his butterfly and moth illustrations and none of his bird drawings were published, according to Tobin. Abbot’s original watercolor drawings of insects and birds along with the engravings of Abbot’s drawings that were published in 1797 in The Natural History of the Rarer Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia are inlcuded. “This book was praised as one of the ‘most beautiful and valuable’ natural history publications of his era,” Tobin said.Emory University, the University of South Carolina and the Morris Museum have loaned drawings for the exhibit.John Abbot (1751-1840), an Englishman, arrived in Georgia in 1776, planning to stay only a few years. Abbot hoped to use his time in Georgia to jump-start a career as a natural history illustrator, supportinghimself by collecting insect and bird specimens for London’s natural history collectors and dealers. Abbot intended to return to London after he made enough drawings to establish his career. But Abbot never left the South, living the rest of his long life in rural Georgia, where he continued to collect and draw insects and birds into his 80s, producing more than 7,000 watercolor drawings.“One factor in his decision to remain in Georgia was what he called his ‘peculiar liking for insects.’ His love of insects took Abbot off the usual path followed by natural history illustrators, who lived and worked in urban centers of natural history inquiry, places such as London and Philadelphia, where they oversaw the publication of their artwork,” Tobin said.All events will be held at the Special Collections Library, Richard B. Russell Building, 300 South Hull Street, on the University of Georgia Campus. Parking is available at the Hull Street parking deck immediately adjacent to the Library. Schedule of EventsExploring the Edge: Scientific Illustration and Natural History Collections in Contemporary ArtApril 22, 6 p.m.Located in the Auditorium, room271 (Second Floor)Artist-scientist Nancy Lowe will explore contemporaryartists who use scientific illustration and/or natural history collections in artworks. Featured artists will include Walton Ford, George Boorujy, Brandon Ballengee, Rosamond Purcell, and Suzanne Acker.Scientfic illustration in black and white media with Nancy LoweApril 23, 10 a.m.Inthis workshop, participants will learn scientific illustration techniques in graphite and pen. CLASS IS FULL. REGISTRATION CLOSED.Scientific illustration in watercolor with Nancy LoweApril 23, 2 p.m.In this workshop, participants will learn watercolor techniques specific to scientific illustration. CLASS IS FULL. REGISTRATION CLOSED.The Virtual Roach ProjectApril 28, 5:30 p.m.Located in the Large Event Space, room 285 (Second Floor)Joseph McHugh will discuss the Virtual Roach Project, a web resource focused on insect anatomy that was developed as a technical reference and an instructional tool. The project links morphological terminologywith an extensive image archive, including scientific illustrations, scanning electron micrographs, and photomicrographs. Users are able to explore the anatomy of a cockroach through a virtual dissection.Who was JohnAbbot?June 23, 6 p.m.Beth Tobin will discuss the life and accomplishments of John Abbot, (1751-1840), a London-born naturalist artist who, as a young man, moved to Georgia where he drew over 7,000 watercolor drawings of North American birds and insects.Family Day: Bugs and ButterfliesJuly 16, 1 p.m.Learn about John Abbot and scientific illustration,then design your own butterfly.Climate Change and Biological Conservation in Georgia: John Abbot and the Pearly Eye Butterflies of Athens-Clarke CountyAugust 25, 5:30 p.m.Dr. James W. Porter will discuss the globalphenomenon of anthropogenic climate change in the context of conservationin Georgia and Athens-Clarke County. He will announce a major new discovery of the presence of three closely-related species of Pearly Eye butterflies within the Tallassee Forest. Dr. Porter will present evidence that this currently occurs nowhere else in the world. Using paintings by John Abbot, Dr. Porter will show more than 100 years before the scientific description of these species, the artist was clearly aware of the slight variations that exist between them.The Woodruff Center for the Natural History of Georgia collects and preserves for scholarly research historical resources that reflect and document the natural history of the State of Georgia.The Center includes the James W. Woodruff, Sr. Natural History of the Chattahoochee Valley Collection.

Thursday, December 13, 2018 from 4:00am to 12:00am

Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries
300 S Hull Street, Athens, GA 30605

Office of Research, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
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