Animal. Vegetable. Mineral.

Organising Nature: A picture album

Book cover of Animal Vegetable Mineral by

Compact and charming.

Caught by the River, Book of the Month

'Animal. Vegetable. Mineral.' celebrates the beauty and strangeness of the very early infographics, charts and ordering systems devised in an age that transformed how we see and understand nature.

These are the tools created by pioneering European naturalists, artists, scientists, housewives and explorers during the 18th and 19th centuries, in an attempt to better understand (and control) a teeming and shifting natural world – the original big data challenge.

In the book, inspired by the Making Nature exhibition, these images and objects range from intricate specimen illustrations, taxonomy charts, and animal distribution maps, to lavish colour dictionaries and more. Together, they attest to the deeply human desire to identify and order the world around us and a restless quest to find our own place within it.

With an introduction by Tim Dee.

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