Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Henry Adams on Art and Camouflage

[The images above are three stages in an illustration of a copperhead snake that first appeared in Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom (1909) by Gerald Handerson Thayer, the son of American painter and naturalist Abbott Handerson Thayer, aka "the father of camouflage." As originally published, a cut-out overlay silhouette (center panel) could be placed on top of the painting of the snake in a forest floor setting, thereby revealing its location. The original painting, like many of the book's illustrations, was the collaborative work of Thayer, his son and his students, including (for this one) Rockwell Kent. Thayer's book in its entirety is available online through Google book search.—RB]

Ornithology, Infantry and Abstraction, by Henry Adams. Art and Antiques Magazine (March 2011). Modern camouflage was invented by artists who studied nature, and camouflage in turn influenced some of modernism's biggest breakthroughs. more>>