Women artists


Palliseden bonn, from Plate 11 Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium of de Verandering der Surinaamsche Insecten (1705) by Maria Sibylla Merian

There are more than 120 women artists represented in the Museum's Library and Archives. Spanning the last four centuries and covering all subject areas, many of their works have contributed greatly to our knowledge of the natural world.

While their prominence, influence and individual life stories may not have been studied or acknowledged to the same extent as their male counterparts, their work and contributions to the social, cultural and literary history of science and natural history remains significant.  

The women artists collection showcases an incredible variety of subjects, styles, and techniques. The artists represented in the collection range from professionally trained and skilled scientific illustrators such as Stella Ross-Craig, Sarah Bowdich, Margaret Stones and Grace Edwards, to serious but accomplished amateurs such as Elizabeth Twining and Margaret Meen. 

Our most recent acquisitions include artworks by zoological artists Elizabeth Butterworth, Angela Gladwell and Rebecca Jewell, and modern botanical artists Norma Gregory, Jean Webb, Jessica Tcherepnine and Olga Makrushenko.


Composition: Artworks, sketches, scientific illustrations

Focus: Female artists, natural history


  • Stella Ross-Craig
  • Sarah Bowdich
  • Margaret Stones
  • Grace Edwards
  • Elizabeth Twining
  • Margaret Meen
  • Elizabeth Butterworth
  • Angela Gladwell
  • Rebecca Jewell
  • Norma Gregory
  • Jean Webb
  • Jessica Tcherepnine
  • Olga Makrushenko

NHM Images

Women artists