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A Glimpse at the Faces Behind Scientific Illustrations

The Fisheries Blog: “The fields of art and the sciences are intimately combined. The detailed illustrations by artists and scientists, that back up years worth of scientific research describing new species, anatomy and behavior, complex processes, and new technologies, make a huge impact on the transfer of knowledge and understanding of these systems to interested parties. As an amateur illustrator, I have been interested in writing a post about historical scientific illustrators for a while now, but there is a more pressing topic that needs to be addressed. The recognition and endorsement of our black illustrators, both scientists and artists, both in the past and in the present.

The names and faces behind amazing scientific illustrations can sometimes be overlooked, as their illustrative work generally focuses on telling a story or clarifying research. This post began as a dedication to the recognition of black scientific illustrators who focused specifically on illustrating fishes, a topic more on theme with what the Fisheries Blog tries to highlight. My search for these illustrators was in vain, as I realized that after hours of online research, I was unable to come up with any names. I widened my search to incorporate black individuals who illustrate birds, reptiles, fossils, cells, anything…. Although I was able to pull a few names, both historical and current, the list is not long. I implore our readers to learn about these fantastic illustrators, their backgrounds, their illustrative focus, and to comment with names of individuals in the field I have most definitely missed…”

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