Although Beatrix Potter had sold some of her artwork for greetings cards and illustrations in the early 1890s, she devoted most of her energy to the study of natural history and science – archaeology, geology, entomology and – especially – mycology. Many scientific drawings are saved and can be viewed on appointment.

Kew Gardens / Beatrix Potter wrote her name in the guest book at Kew Gardens

Study of Mycology

Fungi appealed to Beatrix Potter’s imagination, both for their evanescent habits and for their coloration. Encouraged by Charles McIntosh, a revered Scottish naturalist, to make her fungi drawings more technically accurate, Beatrix Potter not only produced beautiful watercolours, but also became an adept scientific illustrator. By 1896 she had developed her own theory of how fungi spores reproduced and wrote a paper, ‘On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae‘. This was presented to a meeting of the Linnean Society on 1 April 1897 by one of the mycologists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, since women could not attend Society meetings. Her paper has since been lost.

Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Scientific artwork by Beatrix Potter

The collection of the Perth Museum and Art Gallery in Perthshire, Scotland, contains twenty-five of Beatrix Potter’s scientific watercolour studies of fungi, as well as specimens, correspondence and memorabilia belonging to Charles McIntosh. Appointments are necessary to view items not on permanent display.

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The Armitt collection

Beatrix Potter was a member of the Armitt almost from its founding in 1912. She was a major benefactor, and she bequeathed it to over 400 of her exquisite natural history paintings, together with her personal first edition copies of her little books.

The Museum now hosts a permanent exhibition about her life that is guaranteed to fascinate anyone. The Library contains a large collection of Beatrix Potter’s fungi, natural history and archaeological watercolours and drawings. Appointments are necessary to view items not on permanent display.

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The Armitt / The Armitt Trust

Other

Publications

These books supply more information about the art, interests and writing of Beatrix Potter.

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Membership

If you want to know more about Beatrix Potter, you are more than welcome to join The Beatrix Potter Society. We welcome new Members worldwide.

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