July 10, 2018

Suriname: The Treasury Collection, works by Maria Sibylla Merian, exhibited in Suriname

The Embassy in Paramaribo has co-initiated an exhibition, story map and training to honour botanical artist Maria Sibylla Merian and her work.

Surinam insects
This year is the 300th anniversary of the death of naturalist, etymologist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). Maria Sibylla Merian is rated as being one of the greatest-ever botanical artists. She is best known for her illustrations of plants and insects made as a result of her trips to the tropical country of Suriname. She managed to have her observations on Suriname insects published in 1705, in a book with 60 plates in folio called Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium. This pioneering work, which was printed in Amsterdam, made her world-famous.

Exhibition in Lelydorp, Surinam
An exhibition in the Neotropical Butterfly Park in Lelydorp will feature her colourful paintings and illustrations based on her research into caterpillars, butterflies and other insects in Suriname. The exhibition, made possible by the Artis Library of the University of Amsterdam, aims to generate more respect for and awareness of shared cultural heritage. The exhibition runs from 15 December 2017.

Storytelling workshop
In addition to the exhibition, storyteller Paul Middellijn will give a training on telling about the life of Maria Sibylla Merian. This workshop aims to inform (tour) guides from the Neotropical Butterfly Park on the story behind Maria Sibylla Merian and her work. The goal is to create a new dimension in tourism focused on this cultural heritage topic.

Story maps
The Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) will create a story map focused on Maria Sibylla Merian, with contributions from the Dutch Embassy, making her work and story more accessible for everyone. A story map combines maps, images, narrative text and multimedia content to visualise a story.