So we went back to oxford this time we were on the hunt for botanical illustration and its different usages in design and functions. (aka. the butterfly hunt)
first stop was my favorite emporium of oddities and history The Pitt Rivers Museum.
Butterflies and tropical flowers were a favorite decoration in Asian countries like China and Japan. even on an Indonesian short-sword from the 18th century.
Next stop was the same building, but this time it was all about the Natural History collection in Oxford. This is the right place to learn about Butterflies:
Butterflies are flying insects with two pairs of scaly wings and two segmented, clubbed antennae. Like all insects, they have a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), 3 pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and a segmented exoskeleton.
We learned about how the wings are constructed, how the camouflage of a butterfly works and about the was some species disguise themselves as other less tasty specimens to survive.
And what’s natural history with a live bee hive to look at and watch…. 🙂
we also found examples of the useage of botanical illustration. Including a very old Asian parchment depicting a bird winged butterfly from southeast Asia…. ooo!
“There was so much to see, too much! I wished we had even more time”
“What an awesome collection and a great way to experience history”
“The natural history and science stuff was so clear and so much fun. Well worth the trip”
The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford is a really unique museum. It has archaeological and natural history all combined together in one place. Unlike other museums items are put together by what they are not where they are from or in chronological display. This is great if you’re looking to compare how different countries tackle the same problem.
The museum was founded in 1884 by Lt-General Augustus Pitt Rivers, who donated his collection to the University of Oxford with the condition that a permanent lecturer in anthropology must be appointed. The museum staff are still involved in teaching Archaeology and Anthropology at the University to this day.
The original donation consisted of approximately 22,000 items; this has now grown to 500,000 items, many of which have been donated by travellers, scholars and missionaries.
Items like the shrunken heads are popular with all the tourists. The group of primary school children in front of me during the tour gasped and screamed.