Ellery Foutch

Assistant Professor, American Studies, Middlebury College

2018 to 2019
Research Fellow

The Artists' Models: Natural History Specimens and their Illustrations

I am embarking upon a new research project that explores the historic specimen collections of artist-naturalists, comparing the illustrations and textual descriptions they created with these surviving preserved artifacts. Dedicated time at Consortium member institutions would allow me to explore these vast resources and continue my consideration of questions of representation, mediation, and preservation. How might their preservation techniques have influenced their compositional decisions in illustrations, and vice versa? How might knowledge be communicated differently in word, image, and artifact? What might these practices of ekphrasis convey about period attitudes about nature, art, and the relationships between humans and non-human animals?