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    The Paper Zoo: 500 years of Animals in Art

    The Paper Zoo traces the varied and vital role of natural history illustration in science and art since the fifteenth century. Sumptuous images from giants of the genre – such as the birds of John J. Audubon, or the insects of Maria Sybilla Merian – accompany less familiar but equally intriguing illustrations from manuscripts, journals, and rare printed books. Together, these works represent a collection of nature’s wonders. Birds, butterflies, insects, mammals, reptiles, and fish were immortalised in print; pests and curiosities were wondered at; microorganisms made monsters.

    Travellers brought home, on paper, exotic creatures. Scholars and hobbyists insisted upon the beauty and significance of native creatures, both wild and domesticated – even cows and clothes moths.