~ Before Darwin, before Audubon, there was Maria Sibylla Merian. ~
Even as a girl in seventeenth-century Frankfurt, Germany, Maria Sibylla Merian was fascinated by butterflies. Her investigations eventually lead her to South America where she spent two years conducting pioneering field studies and making watercolors for her masterwork The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam. Her observations, documented in a study book she kept for 50 years, helped to lay the groundwork for the modern discipline of ecology. Her artistic techniques had long-ranging implications for the portrayal of animals and their relationship to plants.
Kim Todd, author of a new Merian biography, will detail her adventures and contributions to art and science. She has an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction and an M.S. in environmental studies, both from the University of Montana, and a B.A. in English from Yale. Her articles and essays have appeared in Orion, Sierra Magazine, California Wild and Grist, among other places. She has taught environmental and nature writing at the University of Montana, the University of California at Santa Cruz extension, and the Environmental Writers Institute. Todd is a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program.
A book signing will follow the lecture.
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.