Book tip: Art Forms in Nature

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Book tip: Art Forms in Nature

The time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve usually is a no man’s week without a purpose and a name, but guess what? We’re kicking off the Strawberry Earth book club right here and now. Every month we’ll read and discuss a book about fashion, design or biodiversity. First up is the world famous Art Forms in Nature by Ernst Haeckel. Are you ready to spend your ‘Romjul’ with this natural scientist? Yep, there actually is a word for this no man’s week. In Norwegian at least.

Ernst Haeckel was a German philosopher, physician, naturalist, biologist and artist. With exceptional precision, he captured microscopic organisms, plants and animals and because of that, he changed the way that many of us considered the relationship between art and science. Haeckel produced illustrations that people could actually take in and understand. His images brought the tropical and remote into our daily lives.

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Haeckel was no ‘stay at home biologist.’ He traveled a lot. On his trips he discovered several thousand new species. Next to species, he introduced us to many biological terms that we still use today, like the word ecology. THANKS ERNST! But what we think is even cooler is that modern technologies confirmed the accuracy of Haeckel's prints.

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Yep, you could say Art Forms in Nature is a great record of life on Earth. Some prints still look like something out of a Star Wars movie, so imagine how they must have seemed to their late Victorian audience. Not only was the collection of plates well-received by scientists, they also influenced artists and designers to this day. Rene Binet, Emile Galle and Karl Blossfeld all refer to Ernst Haeckel in their work.

Christmas may be over, but Art Forms in Nature is a present to mankind. Go get it here. Or here.

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