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Exhibitions Home | Current | Upcoming | Past | Virtual

The Art of African Exploration

December 9, 2008 – August 16, 2009

Museum: Natural History Museum

Sponsor: Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Location: Ground Floor, Constitution Ave. Lobby, East & West Sides

African exploration enthralled the public in 19th-century Europe and America. But, unlike scientists today, who are armed with digital cameras to discover and record new species, early explorations before photography included an artist to create a visual record of the journey. In these cases are books, periodicals, sketchbooks, and journals featuring artists's vivid illustrations of the astonishing landscapes, exotic animals, and unfamiliar peoples of 19th-century Africa.

Highlights include:

- the cover of Henry Morgan Stanley's In Darkest Africa
- on-the-spot sketch of the Victoria Falls by Thomas Baines
- John Cary's New Universal Atlas
- drawing instruments by Griswald
- book by Samuel Daniell of African scenery and animals

Online Exhibition