OPEN TODAY 10-8pm CAFÉ 10-7pm
OPEN

Artist, Scientist, Explorer: Mark Catesby in the Carolinas

May 12, 2017 - September 24, 2017

Gallery 8

BUY TICKETS

Featuring the British Royal Collection, this exhibition explores the incredible life and work of Mark Catesby, the English artist, scientist, and explorer who spent four years documenting the natural habitats of the Carolinas, Florida, and the Bahamas.

In 1722, Catesby arrived in Charleston and traveled throughout South Carolina and beyond documenting birds, reptiles and amphibians, fish, insects, and mammals indigenous to the American colonies. This four year sojourn resulted in a series of watercolors that documented the natural habitats of the Carolinas, Florida, and the Bahamas, and ultimately resulted in the first major work on the botanical and animal life of North America, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands.

Artist, Scientist, Explorer: Mark Catesby in the Carolinas marks the first showing of Catesby’s original watercolors in Charleston, and only the second time his watercolors have been on view in the United States. The exhibition features 44 paintings on loan from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from the British Royal Collection.

To underscore the significance of Catesby’s masterful paintings, the exhibition will also include a selection of watercolors created circa 1733 by George Edwards (1694–1773). Like his friend Mark Catesby, Edwards created precise watercolor renderings of birds. In many cases the two artists painted the same subject matter, including a bird particularly important to South Carolina, the now extinct Carolina Parakeet. Collected by John Drayton in 1733, rediscovered in 1969, and recently conserved, the Edwards paintings will be on loan from The Lenhardt Collection of George Edwards Watercolors at Drayton Hall, a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This exhibition is made possible through the vision and financial support of the Gilbert & Ildiko Butler Family Foundation.

Additional funding provided by:

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin F. Lenhardt, Jr.

Jill and Richard Almeida

Ann Long Fine Art

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Black

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Cox

EWH Charitable Trust

Mrs. Roger Hanahan in honor of David J. Elliott, executive director of the Catesby Commemorative Trust

Mr. and Mrs. James R. McNab, Jr.

Woody and Peggy Rash

Jane O. Waring in honor of David J. Elliott, executive director of the Catesby Commemorative Trust

Katharine Hastie

<i>The Summer Duck</i>, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor heightened with gum arabic, over traces of pencil; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

The Summer Duck, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor heightened with gum arabic, over traces of pencil; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

<i>Ivory-billed woodpecker and willow oak</i>, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor over pen and ink; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Ivory-billed woodpecker and willow oak, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor over pen and ink; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

<i>The Ribbon-Snake and Winter's Bark</i>, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor heightened with gum arabic, over touches of pencil; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

The Ribbon-Snake and Winter's Bark, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor heightened with gum arabic, over touches of pencil; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

<i>The Parrot of Carolina and the Cypress of America</i>, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor, bodycolor, and pen and ink; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

The Parrot of Carolina and the Cypress of America, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor, bodycolor, and pen and ink; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

<i>The Porgy</i>, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

The Porgy, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

<i>The Red Bird, the Hiccory Tree and the Pignut</i>, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor heightened with gum Arabic; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

The Red Bird, the Hiccory Tree and the Pignut, ca. 1722—1726, by Mark Catesby (British, 1682—1749); watercolor and bodycolor heightened with gum Arabic; Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Other Events You May Enjoy
Gibbes Unplugged: Coastal Expeditions

Gibbes Unplugged: Coastal Expeditions

Join Captain Chris Crolley from Coastal Expeditions for a unique tour of Artist, Scientist, Explorer: Mark Catesby in the Carolinas. Crolley will ta...

READ MORE
Literary Gibbes: A Book Club Discussion

Literary Gibbes: A Book Club Discussion

Join us for a book club-style discussion inspired by Artist, Scientist, Explorer: Mark Catesby in the Carolinas and Out of the Wild: Animals in Contemporary Artin collaboration with the ...

READ MORE
Film Screening: <i>The Curious Mister Catesby</i>

Film Screening: The Curious Mister Catesby

In February 1722, Mark Catesby set sail on a three-month voyage to the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Catesby spent four years exploring the natural habitats of the southeast colonies and the Bahamas. ...

READ MORE
<i>Artist, Scientist, Explorer: Mark Catesby in the Carolinas</i> Curator-led Tour

Artist, Scientist, Explorer: Mark Catesby in the Carolinas Curator-led Tour

Explore Artist, Scientist, Explorer: Mark Catesby in the Carolinas with Pam Wall, Curator of Exhibitions. This tour is free for members and included with Museum admission for non-members.

READ MORE
Related Content

Catesby Sunset Tour

Thursday, June 15th, 2017 I open the black leather bound book with the low relief letters forming the words “Ship’s Log” in preparation for our adventure and begin to record…

READ MORE

Gibbes Museum in the News
June 1 – June 15

TOWN Carolina out of Greenville featured a beautiful article on the Catesby exhibition. Artist William Dunlap discussed his work on display at the Gibbes during an interview with Fox 24…

READ MORE

Celebrating our First Anniversary in the Reimagined Gibbes Museum

As we approach the end of our fiscal year at the Gibbes Museum of Art, we also reflect upon some major milestones. It is hard to believe that a little…

READ MORE

The Gibbes Museum of Art to Participate in Blue Star Museums

The Gibbes is one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for…

READ MORE