Prepare To Be Wowed By Ernst Haeckel’s 1898 Nature Drawings!

German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist Ernst Haeckel was quite a pioneer in his time. He discovered and named thousands of new species, and documented many of those species with over one hundred gorgeous illustrations in his book, Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of Nature). The book, which is now available in the public domain, romanticizes many underwater creatures with brightly colored, nearly symmetrical drawings. Haeckel makes tiny species of Siphonophorae, a class of marine invertebrates, resemble otherworldly flowers in the above diagram.

View the complete book, published in 1898, in this Flickr set.

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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