Life, Lines and Illusion


25 September - 21 October 2018




Hugh B Cott (1900 - 1987) was on of the last great naturalists in the Darwinian mould. An intrepid explorer and meticulous zoologist, he was also an army officer and a skilled self-taught artist and photographer. He was a founder member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

This unique exhibition focuses on Cott's distinctive line drawings and illustrations which as well as the scientist's painstaking attention to detail, reveal an emotional connection with the subjects. It has been a pleaseure working with Peter Schofield, a friend of Nature in Art and a former student of Cott in the 1950's, who initiated the exhibition. We also record our thanks to staff from the main Cott archives at the Museum of Zoology in Cambridge, from Selwyn College and from Glasgow University who have all lent material.

It was not only the birds, insects, reptiles and mammals that Cott encountered in their myriad forms and habitats that captured his attention. Cott's illustrations include intimate portraits of the local people whose knowledge and support was essential in his field work and collecting.


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Nature in Art

Nature in Art, the world’s first museum and art gallery dedicated to fine, decorative and applied art inspired by nature.

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