Pioneers of Natural History Illustration- Exploring the Oak Spring Garden Library collection through the work of Maria Sibylla Merian and Mark Catesby

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Summer Program
July 10, 2020 to July 19, 2020
Virginia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Animal Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Environmental History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

A Project-based Course at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, Upperville, Virginia

10th June to 19th June 2020

Eight participants will receive instruction in techniques and approaches for working with historical natural history materials and will also develop their own research projects using the OSGF collections. Taking as a point of departure the work of pioneer artist naturalists Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717) and Mark Catesby (English, 1683-1749), participants will study the rich resources in the collections developed by Rachel Lambert Mellon at the Oak Spring Garden Library, as case studies for conceiving and developing their own projects based on the OSGF collections. For more information, please see the full course flier at the link provided or visit

The course will utilize a wide range of books, manuscripts, artefacts and art that Rachel Lambert Mellon collected over her lifetime. These resources will be used to inspire, inform and offer new channels of research to scholars. The course is suitable for professionals from diverse backgrounds, including historians of science, art, books, collecting and related fields. The course is mainly directed at applicants in the early stages of their career (e.g., senior doctoral students, post-docs, junior faculty with less than three years’ experience), but applicants from other career stages will be considered.  International applicants are welcome, but fluency in English is necessary.

Fees and location

The fees for the 10 days of the workshop, including accommodation and meals are: $100 (graduate students), $250 (post-docs), $500 (faculty members).

Location will be the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Upperville, Virginia. Participants will be accommodated with meals and private lodging on site at Oak Spring. Participants are responsible for arranging their own travel.

Applications should be submitted by December 13, 2019. See the link for more details.



Contact Info: 

Stephanie Barker,

Oak Spring Garden Foundation

Contact Email: