The Cotton-Tail Rabbit among Dry Grasses and Leaves
Gerald H. Thayer, Emma Beach Thayer
The artist-naturalist Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849–1921) used assistants, including his wife, Emma, and his son Gerald, to help illustrate his book on animal camouflage, Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom (1909). This meticulously rendered watercolor demonstrates “countershading,” by which an animal such as the cottontail rabbit seems to disappear against the background of its natural habitat. Although many of Thayer’s theories sparked controversy within the scientific community, some were applied to military camouflage in World War II.
Opaque watercolor with touches of translucent watercolor and graphite on smooth-textured paper-surfaced pulpboard
18 3/4 x 19 1/2 in. (47.6 x 49.5 cm)
Frame: 24 1/4 x 24 1/8 x 1 3/4 in. (61.6 x 61.3 x 4.4 cm) (show scale)
Signed and dated upper right: "Gerald H. Thayer / 1904 / (Background / 1904 partly by E.B.T.)"
Gift of Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney
Illustration for "Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom" (1909)
This item is not on view
Gerald H. Thayer (American, 1883-1935). The Cotton-Tail Rabbit among Dry Grasses and Leaves, 1904. Opaque watercolor with touches of translucent watercolor and graphite on smooth-textured paper-surfaced pulpboard, 18 3/4 x 19 1/2 in. (47.6 x 49.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney, 20.645 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 20.645_SL3.jpg)
overall, 20.645_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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