FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 6, 2015
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New exhibition at Cincinnati Museum Center highlights work of North America's first naturalist
The Curious Mister Catesby opens April 19 with lecture and panel discussion
CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center is hosting an exhibition featuring the works of Mark Catesby, North America’s first naturalist. In conjunction with the Lloyd Library, Cincinnati Museum Center will open The Curious Mister Catesby: A “Truly Ingenious” Naturalist Explores New Worlds with a lecture and panel discussion at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.
The Curious Mister Catesby explores the life and works of Mark Catesby, a British naturalist who crossed the Atlantic en route to Virginia in 1712. After a 37 year tour through what were then the southern British American colonies and Bahama Islands as well as Spanish Florida, Catesby completed his monumental book Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands. The book featured hand-colored pictures of animals amidst the plants and foliage in which they lived. It remained in print for nearly a century and was described by President Thomas Jefferson as “the only complete, reliable, illustrated natural history of America.” Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands was used by Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the Pacific and inspired the work of John James Audubon.
The exhibition will feature two original volumes of Catesby’s Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands on loan from the Lloyd Library as well as a copy of Catesby’s Hortus Brittano-Americanus from the collections of Cincinnati Museum Center. The pages of Catesby’s work will take tangible form as specimens of the ivory-billed woodpecker, Carolina parakeet and more from Museum Center’s collections accompany the rare books. Examples of his superb artistry will also be on display.
The opening of The Curious Mister Catesby will be preceded by a free lecture and panel discussion on the life and work of Catesby as well as his impact on his successors at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.
- Dr. Charles Nelson, author of The Curious Mister Catesby: A “Truly Ingenious” Naturalist Explores New Worlds and Reference Book of the Year Award Winner
- Leslie Overstreet, Curator of Natural History Rare Books at the Smithsonian Libraries’ Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History
- David Elliott, Executive Director of the Catesby Commemorative Trust and Executive Producer of The Curious Mister Catesby documentary
- Professor W. Hardy Eshbaugh, Professor Emeritus of Botany at Miami University
Guests can also enjoy brunch with the panelists and a private tour of the exhibition before the lecture. Tickets for the brunch and private tour are $50 and can purchased by calling 513-345-2645.
The Curious Mister Catesby exhibition will be open from April 19 through May 25 in the Museum of Natural History & Science’s North Gallery at Cincinnati Museum Center. For more information on the exhibition and lecture, visit www.cincymuseum.org/exhibits/curious-mister-catesby.
About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution as well as national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, Museum Center was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Our Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within Cincinnati Museum Center include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. Recognized in Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, Cincinnati Museum Center welcomes one million plus visitors annually. Cincinnati Museum Center gratefully acknowledges operating and capital support from the taxpayers of Hamilton County and the State of Ohio. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.