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Public domain nature artists

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1 Public domain nature artists on Wed May 26, 2010 3:47 pm

Was looking through some Haeckel books and realized, there may be a goldmine of wonderful images which are now public domain due to age (at least that is my understanding of how it works - if there are any copyright experts here, then if such images aren't public domain then do let me know)

Anyway, this thread is to mention names of such artists where these phylo-useful images can be found in wikicommons.

I'll start:

Ernst Haeckel
John James Audubon
Martin Johnson Heade

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2 Re: Public domain nature artists on Thu May 27, 2010 12:29 am

davehwng wrote:Was looking through some Haeckel books and realized, there may be a goldmine of wonderful images which are now public domain due to age (at least that is my understanding of how it works - if there are any copyright experts here, then if such images aren't public domain then do let me know)
You are correct. In the US, anything created before 1920 or so is public domain; for works created in other countries, the cut-off date may be different. Internationally, copyright is governed by the Berne Convention, which specifies that copyright applies for at least 50 years after the death of the creator (and individual countries may define longer terms than death-plus-50-years, which the US has done)... and this really gets messy. Sigh.
Anyway, this thread is to mention names of such artists where these phylo-useful images can be found in wikicommons.

I'll start:

Ernst Haeckel
John James Audubon
Martin Johnson Heade
Hmmm... artists who have portrayed living things... Leonardo da Vinci? Frederick Remington? Albrecht Durer? Hieronymous Bosch? Any Currier & Ives prints would be fair game, I think...

later addition
Let's not use anything drawn by Haeckel. The problem is that Creationists have latched onto Haeckel's embryo drawings as one of their favorite evolution-is-obviously-evil-and-wrong talking points. Thus, any use of any art drawn by Haeckel is just asking for trouble from Creationists, says I.



Last edited by Cubist on Thu May 27, 2010 5:44 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Afterthought added)

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3 Re: Public domain nature artists on Thu May 27, 2010 5:31 am

Currier and Ives would be good for some habitats, but for species cards I would go with someone like John Abbot or John Eatton Le Conte. They both worked in the 17, 1800's, and have some nice prints. John Abbot is an insect guy I believe.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/Abbotv1tab01AA.jpg

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4 Re: Public domain nature artists on Thu May 27, 2010 5:08 pm

Suggestion, Project Gutenberg transcibes out of copyright books... INCLUDING the diagrams.

http://www.gutenberg.org/

Not every book came with diagrams, but many did. You'll need to download the HTML ZIP to see the version with diagrams. (the plain HTML omits them)

It's a little hit or miss, but if you do find one with color plates, you've got the whole thing. The majority have black and white illustrations, but I have tripped over the occasional color one. (and some black and white could be colorized without too much trouble)

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5 Re: Public domain nature artists on Thu May 27, 2010 5:34 pm

Also, side jaunt, but we should also go VERY old school and not skip over the medieval botanists like Al-Zahrawi, Al-Dinawari, Avicenna, al-Nabatî, and al-Malaqi. They produced large illustrated catalogs of known plant species.

It's a little hit or miss finding illustrations online since they're sometimes not translated so you're left scratching your head about what some of these are since there's no English equivalent. That and the pictures are hit on miss on resolution.

From kitab al-nabat (the Book of Plants)
http://bp1.blogger.com/_3nWQm-pB-_s/RknQuCVeWtI/AAAAAAAAAEs/b5a0YQeu3VY/s1600-h/250px-Arabic_herbal_medicine_guidebook.jpg

(9th century multivolume encyclopedia of 600+ plants, their habitats, cultivation, diseases, polinators, etc.)

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6 Re: Public domain nature artists on Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:58 am

For an extensive, indexed collection of scanned biodiversity-related books out of copyright: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/

Includes marvelous full-color works! There's really nothing in the cartoon style that's been mentioned on numerous occasions and often the images are a bit faded or the pages foxed, but still valuable.

Consider, for example, the beautiful botanical illustrations of J.J. Rousseau in some of his book's plates: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/29596#135

Here's one of the authors suggested above by TheCharles, illustrating lepidopterans:
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/201


Alternately, the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) can be searched on a species-by-species basis via the Encyclopedia of Life website (http://www.eol.org/). On a the page/entry for a particular or group, check out near the bottom of the lefthand column for automagically generated links to pages in BHL books! Though be aware that references are created based upon text, not images, so most of the links will be to pages of text.

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7 Re: Public domain nature artists on Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:32 am

Cubist wrote:Let's not use anything drawn by Haeckel. The problem is that Creationists have latched onto Haeckel's embryo drawings as one of their favorite evolution-is-obviously-evil-and-wrong talking points. Thus, any use of any art drawn by Haeckel is just asking for trouble from Creationists, says I.

Why do creationists think that Hackel's drawings show that evolution is evil and wrong?

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