Date of Award

Spring 1942

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




It may be somewhat difficult at first glance to understand the essential character of the relationship of art to science, and especially to the natural sciences. Without illustration it would be impossible either to learn or to teach these sciences . Drawings are needed in the classroom and in the laboratory to aid the teacher, and they are perhaps even more important in individual research where there is no teacher present to guide and to instruct the student .

Scientific illustration is not only an aid to teaching, it teaches by itself when properly executed. In cases where verbal description is at best vague or clumsy, a good illustration explains with clarity and precision difficult points in question . Since in the great majority of cases specimens to be studied have many individual dif­ ferences, an illustration of the average is not only an aid in identifying a specimen, but it is an excellent means, and, indeed perhaps the only one by which variations may be determined.

It is the purpose of this paper to dmscuss bio­ logical and related scientific illustration in both its aesthetic and practical aspects, with emphasis on the execution of such works. This discussion is in the light of its relationship to college instruction and study. It is impossible to compose a concise yet inclusive definition of scientific illustration, or of illustration in general or indeed of Art itself, from which these other two have sprung . Therefore , in this case an aesthetic and functional comparison must suffice.

The field of illustration may be fixed by con trasting it with that of art, and, following this, by dis­ sociating its component types . Such a task is not accom­ plished without the use of somewhat dogmatic statements, the opinions of the writer . The major part of the paper is concerned with the efficient production of scientific illustrations and with the techniques involved.

Included in

Biology Commons