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The National Air And Space Museum and the National Museum of American History will be open today, March 5; all other Smithsonian Washington, D.C.-area museums and the National Zoo will be closed due to inclement weather. The Smithsonian museums in New York will be open today.Skip navigation
The Smithsonian Institution Building (the Castle) ca.1858.
This exhibition offers a glimpse of the work of four scientific illustrators who worked in the Smithsonian Institution Building between 1852 and 1898: William Stimpson, John H. Richard, Robert Ridgway, and his brother John L. Ridgway.
Scientific illustration is one part of what makes a museum collection important. Its purpose is to enhance and support scientific research by showing minute details and distinguishing characteristics of the specimens being studied.
Stimpson, Richard, and the Ridgway brothers produced many original renderings of specimens from which high quality engravings and lithographs were made for various publications. Although their styles and backgrounds varied greatly, these four men shared a lifelong devotion to the study of the wonders of science and nature.
John H. Richard
John H. Richard (1807-1881) first worked in the Smithsonian Building between 1852 and 1855 illustrating the reports of several government exploring expeditions. (read more)
William Stimpson (1832-1872) was a student of the eminent naturalist Jean Louis Agassiz... (read more)
Robert Ridgway (1850-1929) was the curator of the Smithsonian's bird collections for forty-nine years. (read more)
John L. Ridgway
John L. Ridgway (1859-1947) was noted ornithologist Robert Ridgway’s younger brother. (read more)