Mary Banning

“Mary Banning was an eccentric and talented mycologist and natural history illustrator active in the second half of the nineteenth century. Born in 1822 to a prominent family on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Mary moved with her older sisters and widowed mother to Baltimore shortly before 1856. From that time on her proscribed task was to tend to ailing family members. The main outlet for her indomitable spirit was through the study and illustration of natural objects. She eventually focused on mushrooms because she found them the most challenging and mysterious. In 1868 she began to write and illustrate a book on the fungi of Maryland. This project took more than twenty years and resulted in a manuscript of scientific descriptions and amusing stories accompanied by 174 detailed, 13″ by 15″, watercolor paintings. ”
(More from the website of the New York State Museum)

(Click to zoom)

Watercolor, pen & ink, ink wash

Part of my ongoing series of biologists, naturalists, and environmentalists which will be on display at Irvine Nature Center ( in Owings Mills, MD from May 18-July 30, 2011.

Prints available of any of the images in this series, for the usual prices- joanna at joannabarnum dot com
4″ x 6″- $5, or 4/$17
8.5″ x 11″- $10, or 4/$35
11″ x 17″- $30, or 4/$100
13″ x 19″- $40, or 4/$140


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