Theme(s) and Variation(s)

A few weeks ago Ardine Nelson, Professor Emerita, OSU Department of Art’s Photography program, and Fredrik Marsh, instructor at Columbus College of Art & Design and The Ohio State University, visited our Insect, Fish and Tetrapods collections in order to take photographs of specimens for a new series featuring specimens from EEOB’s Museum of Biological Diversity.

Why Museum specimens? To quote Ardine: “Since my first visit to an open house at the OSU Museum of Biological Diversity, I remain intrigued by the specimens. They are beautiful, terrifying, and at times even repulsive, yet they are a visual curiosity with an innate quality that draws one in even closer.”

Ardine showcases photographs of specimens, in their drawers, just like they are preserved in the museum collection. Her master piece in this show is The Research Board (last one in this slide show).

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Fred features scans of specimens, most of them larger than life-size.

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To appreciate the large photographs and scans you have to see them yourself. The first selection is on display at the Fort Hayes Shot Tower gallery where you can admire their stunning art Monday – Friday 8am-5pm until April 27 (Please note, the gallery is closed for spring break March 30 – April 8). More information about the exhibit and the artists can be found through ColumbusMakesArt.

One of Grant Terrell’s specimen sheets is featured in this photo – the remains of an American Kestrel:

A big THANK YOU to the curators of the collections, Marc Kibbey (Fishes), Luciana Musetti (Insects) and collection manager Grant Terrell (Tetrapods) for hosting the artists and providing access to specimens!

About the Author: Angelika Nelson is the curator of the Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics and the social media manager for the Museum of Biodiversity.

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