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photograph - Photographs of polypore fungi with sketches of spores
  • Photographs of polypore fungi with sketches of spores
    Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943
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Photographs of polypore fungi with sketches of spores

  • Object:

    photograph

  • Date:

    9/10/1896

  • Artist/Maker:

    Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    contact bromide prints; pencil and pen and ink on paper

  • Museum number:

    BP.357(b)

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is one of the world's best-loved children's authors and illustrators. She wrote the majority of the twenty-three Original Peter Rabbit Books between 1901 and 1913. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Frederick Warne, 1902) is her most famous and best-loved tale.

Beatrix Potter had a strong interest in natural history and also, through her father, Rupert Potter, who was a keen amateur photographer, some knowledge of photography. She noted on this sheet from October 1896 that the Polyperus Melanopus fungi recorded in the photographs were found on elm logs in Putney Park. In addition to mounting up two photographic prints of the fungi, Potter has added several sketches of spores; the drawings were made at x 600 magnification.

During this period Beatrix Potter was deeply engaged with the collection of fungi and the study of spore germination. She was in conversation with scientists at Kew Gardens, who were not always open to her ideas (which sometimes challenged their own), and was making some scientific discoveries of her own. She submitted her findings to the Director of Kew in December 1896, not long after her work on this sheet. Although he did not receive her work well, the Assistant Director, George Massee, was prepared to believe her findings. Potter continued her research and work on her scientific paper, β€˜On the Germination of the Spores of the Agaricineae’, which was read at The Linnean Society of London on 1 April 1897. Her intense engagement with this work did not continue much beyond this period, but her close eye for detail and understanding of the make-up of the natural world would impact her book illustrations.

Physical description

Two black and white photographic prints of polypore fungi on a cream mount; on the mount there are annotations in pencil and five small pencil and pen and ink sketches of spores.

Date

9/10/1896

Artist/maker

Potter, Beatrix, born 1866 - died 1943 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

contact bromide prints; pencil and pen and ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Polyporus Melanopus. / on elm logs. Putney Park. Oct 9th. 96. / x 600. / 9 inches in diameter'
inscribed in pencil by Beatrix Potter, lower recto

Dimensions

Height: 35.3 cm sheet, Width: 25.2 cm sheet

Object history note

Made by Beatrix Potter in October 1896. Acquired by the V&A from Leslie Linder (1904-1973) in 1973 as part of the Linder Bequest, a collection of ca. 2150 watercolours, drawings, literary manuscripts, correspondence, books, photographs, and other memorabilia associated with Beatrix Potter and her family.

Descriptive line

Two photographs of polypore fungi with annotations and a group of small sketches of spores on the mount by Beatrix Potter, dated 9 October 1896; Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.290.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hobbs, Anne Stevenson, and Joyce Irene Whalley, eds. Beatrix Potter: the V & A collection: the Leslie Linder bequest of Beatrix Potter material: watercolours, drawings, manuscripts, books, photographs and memorabilia. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985. p.33; no.290
p.33; no.290
Hobbs, Anne Stevenson, and Joyce Irene Whalley, eds. Beatrix Potter: the V & A collection : the Leslie Linder bequest of Beatrix Potter material : watercolours, drawings, manuscripts, books, photographs and memorabilia. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985.

Materials

Pencil; Ink; Paper

Techniques

Photography; Drawn

Subjects depicted

Fungi

Categories

Drawings; Photographs

Production Type

Unique

Collection

National Art Library

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