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Abbott Thayer’s Monadnock: The Intersection of Natural History, Artistic Research, and World War

Thursday, March 11,
5:30 pm
to 6:30 pm

Mount Monadnock by Abbott Thayer (image © Corcoran Gallery of Art via the Wikimedia Commons)

The life and work of Abbott Thayer (1849-1921) — Dublin resident, natural historian, and a leading American artist in his day — present an interdisciplinary case study on the role of nature as a “medium” in the fullest sense of the word. Convinced that his perceptual skills as an artist led him to solve problems that scientists could not, Thayer immersed himself in intense observation of Dublin’s woodlands and made revelations with far-reaching implications that landed on the desks of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Darwin’s colleague Wallace. Both his scientific illustrations and his landscapes of Monadnock — rarely taken together in analysis — are better reconciled when nature is understood as mediated by cognitive processes and broad cultural ideas, rather than as “natural.”

This richly illustrated presentation by artist and art historian April Claggett will take a deep dive into the lessons that Thayer, known around the world as the “inventor of camouflage,” learned from the local landscape. There will be plenty to discuss!

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. To get the login details, please register here.


Thursday, March 11
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
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Susie Spikol
(603) 525-3394