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Collecting Ladies

Ferdinand Von Mueller and Women Botanical Artists

written by Penny Olsen

National Gallery of Australia | ISBN 9780642277534

Paperback – 248 pages

$40.00

Member’s price: $36.00
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Around 1870, Ferdinand von Mueller, the greatest Australian botanist of the nineteenth century, began to advertise in several newspapers across Australia for ‘lady’ plant collectors. This was at a time when women typically had little recourse to science, or contact with men outside their circle of friends, making Mueller’s network of ladies quite extraordinary. Collecting Ladies profiles 14 of Mueller’s coterie of women collectors. Included are Fanny Charsley, Louisa Atkinson, Annie Walker and Ellis Rowan for whom Mueller made time to assist in pursuit of their own passions. He identified the plants they painted and provided letters of introduction to publishers and scientists. Together, these ladies produced some of the most beautiful books and botanical art to come out of Australia in the nineteenth century, covering all the Australian colonies.

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